Marbleton council hears investment options

SUBLETTE COUNTY – With banks’ savings accounts earning very low interest – but with national lending rates on the rise – the Marbleton Town Council invited a longtime municipal financial advisor to present options at its April 11 meeting.

Even some WyoStar government accounts haven’t had much growth on returns on municipal accounts, councilmembers noted.

Todd Bishop of Cheyenne’s Kaiser Company has almost 33 years’ experience working with Wyoming government agencies, he told the council via Zoom. He noted that he is a Shoshoni native and founded the company to provide financial advice to public entities.

He presented an overview of different investments available to towns and cities – which are limited by state laws and town policies.

“When you talk about investment options for towns to invest money in, you can’t buy Apple stock or mutual funds. Each town has its own investment policy,” Bishop said. “If you don’t have one, I could help you set one up. Most clients use insured CDs or federal agency bonds.”

Marbleton’s investment policy was passed in 2007 following state law, town attorney Thayne Peterson said. 


Each government entity is different, Bishop said, and tailors a management plan “specific to the town’s objectives.”

Councilmember Roger McMannis said they want to “bounce around ideas” to discussed in more depth during upcoming budget meetings. The Marbleton Town Council planned its second meeting for Thursday, April 14.

“We’re not looking to get rich, just make the best interest for our money,” McMannis said.

Peterson added, “But it’s okay if we get rich.”

Bishop said the town should develop a strategy and define its financial goals and objectives. He is also experienced at advising on capital construction projects and equipment lease-purchase decisions.

In a nutshell, Bishop generally advised the town to consider government bonds and insured CDs and plan a strategy about when to enter and exit, keeping a perspective of one to three years. For example, U.S. Treasury bonds that were earning .05 percent are over 2.5 percent. Prices and rates change daily and hourly so timing is important.

“We would need to talk about your investment strategy, reevaluate it at times to see if CDs or bonds bring a higher yield,” he suggested. “I anticipate interest rates to continue to rise.”

Staffer Sam Bixler asked Bishop to explain “flat or transactional” fees; a flat fee that allows Kaiser to make decisions within investment guidelines and the other requires town approval for every decision.

“I’m fine with either,” Bishop said, although opportunities could be missed with a transactional fee. He agreed to send the council comparisons of how his company performed compared to WyoStar.

“I expect we will address this more at the next budget meeting,” McMannis said.

Mayor Pro Tem BJ Meador thanked Bishop and said the council would get back to him.

Councilmembers Jeff McCormick and Karen Wenz were also at the meeting with Meador and McMannis. Mayor Jim Robison joined via teleconference but the connection was dropped.

Community bits

Tessa Miller of the Sexual Assault and Family Violence Task Force introduced herself, saying this year’s theme is to focus on online safety especially for youth and “the mental trauma that comes with inappropriate sexual behaviors.”

Meador read and signed the town’s proclamation marking April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Three Big Piney High School seniors – Trystin Fugle, Lindsey Willoughby and Jafet Martinez Bravo – spoke to the council about their college plans after graduation in hopes of receiving one of Marbleton’s $500 scholarships.

Deputy clerk Ashley Jones requested the town’s sponsorship for Horses R Us 4-H Club’s, which has an upcoming open horse show at the Sublette County Fairgrounds. The council approved a $500 contract for services for buckles and advertising.

Other nonprofit requests were set for discussion at the council’s second budget meeting, which took place April 14.

The council approved a motion to renew an ad in the Sublette County Magazine’s spring-summer edition, now owned by Wyoming Newspapers.

Flicks ‘N’ Pins manager Mike Orham reported that the local bowling tournament and BBQ went well. He’s also looking into bidding for tournaments that travel through the state and region.

A good lineup of first-run movies is expected through the end of July, Orham said.

Bixler reported that he is still waiting for guidelines for upcoming American Recovery Plan Act grants and funding and he and public works supervisor Todd Brown are creating a priority list of projects.

One is crack-sealing the town and entertainment center’s parking lots, which the council approved.

The council went into executive session to discuss personnel and took no action.

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