Council clears first hurdle for 'chicken permit' changes


BIG PINEY – An expiration date for short-term chicken owners in town was approved by the Big Piney Town Council in its first reading on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

All but councilmember Scott Scherbel voted to approve the first reading.

The amendment called for a new ordinance with a paragraph added, which means the ordinance will be read at two more regular monthly meetings.

Questions arose at the January meeting about how long a town resident with a chicken permit could go without having chickens before the conditional-use permit expired – the original ordinance did not have a time frame.

Code officer Greg Eiden noted that one person had not had chickens for more than a year and was planning to get new chicks. Another didn’t have chickens for several months and Eiden was concerned new homeowners might be unpleasantly surprised to find new chickens next door.

Councilmember Michelle Hymas suggested a time limit of two years and town attorney Scott Sargent drafted the new subsection for Ordinance 2021-01.

“The only change is after 24 consecutive months (without chickens) you need to obtain a new permit,” he said.

Mayor Tyler Maxfield called for a vote – he and councilmembers Hymas, Sherri Redden and Stafford Polk IV voted “aye” for the change.

Scherbel waved his arm. “Opposed. I’m a vote for the chickens. I don’t see why someone has to get a new permit for chickens after 24 months – they don’t have to do that for dogs…” 

Business matters

Who needed to have Town of Marbleton business licenses was another issue brought up last month. Sargent, who had attended via Zoom, said he was bumped off during that discussion.

Maxfield said he and Eiden talked and decided to follow previous policy that didn’t demand them for in-town deliveries.

Sargent said the exemptions apply to nonprofit, charitable, religious, civic and fundraising organizations but nothing specifically names youth under 18 as being exempt for jobs such as lawn mowing.

“You kind of want young people to go out and do that kind of stuff,” he said, adding that there isn’t a private business in town to call it “unfair competition.”

Scherbel asked if a business like Pinedale Lumber delivering goods in town that were bought elsewhere would need a business license.

“We’re not going to enforce that,” Maxfield said.

Redden and Big Piney-Marbleton Stage Committee Chair Bob Beiermann thanked the town council for its support of this year’s Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race and handed out “race bling” and the banner.

Race videos and photos were posted on social media so people could follow the race without COVID concerns, Redden said, and people watching were from many different countries – “a good thing that came from it.”

And new mushers immediately asked about the Dutch oven desserts served at the Big Piney-Marbleton dinner (usually open to the community), showing they’ve heard about the towns’ tradition, she said.

Water in its forms

Water-sewer manager Josh Rogers brought up a messy situation he said must be fixed the next day or someone was “in big trouble.”

A homeowner called Rogers with a problem about a blocked “sewer bypass” he had built after the service line blocked up and broke free.

However, the bypass is not connected to a service line and effluent went onto a neighbor’s field. Rogers provided a “sanitary sewer overflow” report to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, he said.

One problem is that the road appears to be sinking and might prevent flow; if the service line ends at the property, the line could be plugged at the end, according to parks-streets manager Kara Losik.

Losik reported that she and Rogers have been “chasing ice” and cleared gutters so snowmelt can flow into the creek.

The annual Father Daughter Valentine’s Day Dance was happening that night at the Rec Center, recreation manager Eddy Delgado reported. He’s planning a spring fair at the Rec Center on April 10 to coincide with – or replace – the one usually held at the Sublette County Fairgrounds.

And in case you were wondering, Big Piney will celebrate Chuckwagon Days over the July Fourth weekend with the parade and fireworks on Sunday.

The parade’s theme is “Splash for Freedom,” which Delgado expects will bring out water balloons and all sorts of toys.

Last year, the festivities were confined more to the Rec Center due to COVID concerns.

Delgado said, “I’m hoping we can go back to the street but we could have it at the Rec Center.”

“A lot of people like it on the street,” Maxfield confirmed.

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