Marbleton adds to student lunch money donations

Courtesy photo The Marbleton Town Council dressed for the ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ season at its Dec. 12 meeting. From left are Roger McMannis, Jeff McCormick, Mayor Jim Robinson, Karen Wenz and B.J. Meador.

Towns of Marbleton, LaBarge gather $4,178 for SCSD9 meals

SUBLETTE COUNTY – In what is not an unusual gesture, Marbleton put out the call to its generous citizens and neighbors, asking them for donations to help students who might not have enough to eat or whose parents can’t afford school lunches.

At the town’s November meeting, Mayor Jim Robinson asked councilmembers Jeff McCormick, Roger McMannis, BJ Meador and Karen Wenz what they thought about matching a “lunch money” donation drive that would end with the Dec. 12 meeting.

Sublette County School District No. 9 (SCSD9) brings in students from the southern part of the county as well as LaBarge in Lincoln County. The Marbleton mayor heard about students’ “who fall through the cracks” for lower-cost lunches and sometimes have high unpaid balances.

The council voted unanimously to match the first $1,000 donated and from that point, checks and cash were handed over wherever town clerks Shannon McCormick and Ashley Jones went – the grocery store, the senior center and Marbleton Town Hall.

Robinson also decided to challenge the towns of Big Piney and LaBarge, and before the Dec. 12 meeting, a LaBarge town employee dropped off a check for $640. Marbleton staff collected $2.538 from generous donors and after matching the first $1,000, prepared a town check for $3,538 to give SCSD9 officials to use as needed for students’ lunches.

The grand total so far from the two towns is $4,178.

At the Dec. 12 meeting, Robinson praised staff and locals, who often go above and beyond what an occasion might call for.

A local resident asked him if the town would be interested in donating a rifle to raffle for the same lunch-money initiative, he told the council. Town attorney Thayne Peterson said he would check on the logistics.

Robinson named the Waterhole #3, Spur Bar and Green Pastures thrift store, the Marbleton Senior Center and other Marbleton and Big Piney businesses that held special events or set out donation jars over the past month.

“These businesses went above and beyond like I knew they would,” he said, as did local individuals. “Some of this was cash money donated – it goes to show how our community does trust and respect you all. It’s our job to go one step above.”

Robinson said the businesses’ and individuals’ gift of giving “was pretty impressive. Again, thanks again to the community.”

Meador said a lot of Big Piney teachers commended the holiday donation drive.

New business

Tammie Craven appeared before the council, seeking a conditional use permit for a small home business in R-2 zoning. The Marbleton Planning and Zoning Board approved her application to operate retail jewelry sales primarily online and Facebook, Paparazzi Jewelry.

Craven said she works from home to set up shows and deliver orders – “I’m just in my kitchen using my phone.”

She said her family just moved there in February and wanted to do things by the book. “We respect this town and want to make sure we are 100-percent compliant.”

McCormick said she mailed out letters to neighbors and had no responses. Robinson told Craven that a CUP helps ensure compliance if neighbors do ever have complaints.

The council approved Craven’s CUP application, 5-0.

In another zoning topic, the council passed Resolution 2022-07, Zone Change, to alter a former mobile home park’s status to residential, where people now own the land under their homes. One resident was concerned about setbacks if he wanted to build a garage but the council determined that could be a simple “variance” request.

“The concern is noted but my recommendation is to continue (with the resolution,” Robinson said. “I think that could be worked out in the future.”

Resolution 2022-07, Zone Change, was unanimously approved.

Winter/ water

When asked about an ice-fishing derby at the Marbleton Community Pond this winter, public works supervisor Todd Brown said none is planned but he hopes to have a couple “open” days for ice fishing.

The town might consider a celebration of the fishing ponds’s new manufactured building, Brown suggested, with chili and hotdogs.

“People do want to see the building,” Robinson agreed.

Engineer Ryan Welling from Forsgren Associates reported on his work to map and collate data for the town’s water system and master plan. He has-mapped three storage tanks, seven wells,  some hydrants, valves and 17 miles of distribution municipal distribution lines.

The goal is for an online GIS system containing all kinds of data for employees to access with a simple mobile app. Brown and the council noted the project’s importance in lining up water production with distribution and billing.

Welling said the town will likely need to install domestic systemwide distribution meters “to show exactly where the water is coming from and going to” to qualify for state and federal grants and funding.

The Wyoming Water Development Commission, for example, requires a municipal system’s rates are self-sustaining and the town is putting money aside for future growth.

“I’m sure you’re aware this is an ongoing discussion about meters and such,” Robinson said. The town began with commercial meters but domestic metering “is a hard subject to swallow.”

The energy industry “footed the bill for a lot of this water with metered sales” and that era has passed.

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