Marbleton makes lunch-money challenges

MARBLETON – During the community meeting to assess Sublette County’s needs to alleviate hunger, health and poverty, Mayor Jim Robinson said he was surprised and almost shocked to learn that Big Piney students might go hungry at school.

“One of them that hit me really hard was a couple of people talked about the hunger in our community,” Robinson related to councilmembers at their Nov. 14 meeting.

Marbleton employees and families volunteer time to help sort and distribute monthly mobile food pantry boxes and for the Community Food Closet located in the town’s remodeled senior center.

“Kids fall through the cracks” who either can’t afford reduced-price school breakfast and lunches or who don’t qualify for free school meals, Robinson learned.

“You all have stepped up,” he said of councilmembers Jeff McCormick, Roger McMannis, BJ Meador and Karen Wenz, as do all town employees. “But that one hit me – that’s something we can try to take care of immediately.”

He proposed a challenge – that the town could collect financial donations before Christmas to help those students who don’t get enough to eat at school – and match the first $1,000 dropped off at Marbleton Town Hall.

He also issued a challenge that night for Big Piney and LaBarge to do the same through their town halls. The money collected would go to the Big Piney school district where teachers and counselors would know who needed the most help.

Town attorney Thayne Peterson said it could be announced as Marbleton’s financial “assistance to provide resources for the health of the community.”

The mayor said, “Just put the word out we’re taking money for free and reduced lunches by our December meeting,” which is Monday, Dec. 12. Town staff will issue more details this week about the fund drive.

The council moved and unanimously approved collecting donations and matching the first $1,000.

Town Hall repairs

The council picked up its tabled Oct. 10 discussion on insurance payments to repair recent flooding damages when a water main broke at Marbleton Town Hall. The council considered two bids and chose Walters Contracting’s offer to not exceed $4,800 for labor.

The town will buy materials locally if possible to fix drywall, a baseboard and painting and the council voted to allow “touchups” as needed not to exceed a total of $11,771 – the amount paid by the insurance company.

New business

McMannis submitted his application for a conditional use permit to operate “Mac’s Rocks” in residential zoning. Neighbors signed off in approval and Robinson clarified that the councilmember went through the very same steps for approval as anyone else. McMannis is an avid rockhound and said he wants to do some polishing and cutting.

Flicks N Pins manager Mike Orham reported that a computer went out on a busy night and employees had to write down sales on a legal pad, which was “a little stressful” for them.

He confirmed some popular blockbuster films over the holidays and is booking Christmas parties.

The council adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel and litigation and took no actions.