Commissioners updated on Centennial schedule


SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Sublette County Board of Commissioners was presented with 100 years of history at its Nov. 2 meeting inside the board’s chambers of the county courthouse.

Mary Lankford, representing the Sublette County Centennial Committee, presented the board with an extended update that included all the events and actions the committee has taken as the county’s centennial celebration began its three-year spread.

She started by handing out enamel pins, writing pens and hats to each commissioner, saying those were also distributed to local businesses. Lankford then, along with the help of Janet Montgomery, showed the board the finished Centennial Quilt, which featured brands from Sublette County ranches that were registered and active in 1921. Some of those remain in use, Lankford said. Commission chair Joel Bousman spotted his family’s active brand on the quilt.

Lankford said along with the brands, different pivotal industries to Sublette County were added to the quilt. That included a miner and rancher shaking hands, inspired by the statue from the Big Piney Park.

Commissioner Tom Noble brought up making another quilt and auctioning it off, since it could fetch a hefty sum. Lankford said that was discussed, although there were some concerns a wealthy person from outside Wyoming would purchase it and leave locals without.

The only existing quilt will be on display at Rendezvous Pointe once COVID-19 restrictions lift. Then it will go to the Marbleton Senior Center, museums and libraries in the county throughout the centennial celebration. It’s unknown where the permanent home will be, although early discussions indicate it’ll go to one of the county’s museums or the courthouse.

Lankford said the Centennial Committee has secured a commemorative rifle from Henry Rifle. Commissioner Doug Vickrey ordered one for his family and said “it’s awesome.” Twenty-five were made. Vickrey said he requested No. 25, and the Centennial Committee requested No. 23. Lankford said the committee has a secured shadowbox for display with plans to keep the rifle in the courthouse.

The Centennial Committee has now shifted towards a few upcoming events after an initial summer slate. They’re planning a parade next summer and hope to arrange a big event for August 2022. More information will be shared on the various Centennial Committee events in the Examiner as they are arranged and confirmed.

Departments

Billy Pape said the Road & Bridge Department has stopped hauling water to blade and complete road maintenance. Fixing drainages and adding salt have been the latest logistical struggles for the department following a week of consistent moisture.

Pape said he was approached by Town of Pinedale Public Works Director Abram Pearce about purchasing mill that the town had left over from its latest airport project. Pape said he could acquire it, at a significant discount, in his own gravel budget. He said it would be about $10,000 and he has use for it. Commissioners ultimately decided it would be Pape’s discretion whether or not to buy it because it’s within his budget.

Pape brought up the possibility of raising rates for the county’s waste management. As of now, Sublette County has the lowest rates in the state – by a wide margin. Some proposed rates were brought forward but nothing was decided at the meeting. Pape said the start of the calendar year is a good time to look at annual rates. The board agreed to keep the current rates the same for 2022 and then revisit rates at this point next year.

An adjacent update from Rio Verde Engineering said the Cottonwood project continues to move forward before the Bureau of Land Management’s hard deadline of Nov. 15, which will mark an extended pause on the project until spring. There was also a reduction on the chip-seal change order because the project came in under budget.

Fire warden Shad Cooper said the final bid for the new wildland fire truck that was budgeted for last year came in significantly under budget. That RFP, as conducted by the company that has made previous fire trucks for SCUF, submitted a final bid for $198,000. Cooper previously brought that up to commissioners for permission to pre-pay, to prevent payments from stretching across multiple budgets. Cooper also ensured a bond secured to guarantee a new fire truck in case of the company dissolving. Commissioners all approved this sole bid.

Dennis Fornstrom from the county Planning & Zoning Commission brought forth a rezoning and modification to sub-district plat. That previously passed the P&Z commission. Rezoning from light industrial to rural residential passed with few questions from the board and was approved by the commission.

Commissioners also agreed to allow Fornstrom to look at amending signage amendments when P&Z looks to overhaul its regulations.

The board also booked the Pinedale Library’s Lovatt Room for its Dec. 7 meeting in case the Jackson Fork Ranch’s current resort request goes through its logistical process. Commissioners could remain in their chambers of the courthouse but booked the room after last year’s process garnered a large public response. 

Other board items

  • Commissioners approved FNRPA funding pending approval from Lincoln and Uinta counties for a consultant to Bridger-Teton National Forest.
  • Commissioners said they would revisit Jen Matoksy’s request for allowing a winter barn from the University of Wyoming Extension to be used by county residents for use. A discussion on the topic in Tuesday’s meeting left too many unanswered questions for the board.
  • Redistricting conversations continue throughout the proper channels. County clerk Carrie Long said Sublette County has a good plan to stay whole but waits on the more contentious parts of the state.
  • Commissioners voted to leave the Coalition of Local Governments for the time being. That came amid turbulence in the CLG, leaving Sublette County no choice but to leave after years in the agreement that has yielded positive outcomes.
  • Commissioners agreed to get a written update from Todd Hurd on projects for every meeting, with a strong request for Hurd to appear in person for updates every second meeting of the month.

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