MARBLETON – After relating all of the volunteer hours and miles put in by Marbleton Town Council members over the past 20 years, Mayor Jim Robinson brought up the topic of raises for incoming councilmembers.
At its April 12 meeting, Robinson said he researched similar-sized towns across Wyoming and found Marbleton’s compensation is “well below most communities in our state.”
Robinson emphasized that the town council cannot raise the salaries of its elected officials for their current terms. Their raises from $100 to $150 a meeting would take effect for newly elected officials.
“For almost 20 years it has been the same – $100 a meeting for the council,” Robinson said. “Marbleton is very frugal.”
By law, mayors’ monthly salaries are capped at $2,000, according to town clerk Shannon McCormick, who explained that the town’s payroll is set up “per meeting.” Marbleton’s current mayoral compensation is $250 per meeting, which the amended ordinance would raise to $500 per meeting.
The payments are made for any meeting where a councilmember or mayor “appears on behalf of the town,” she said. “It’s a lot more (to the elected positions) than people realize.”
Robinson said raising the councilmembers’ and mayor’s compensation was a good amount for the next mayor and council.
No one has ever reported to her how many hours they have spent representing the town, McCormick said this week, but every one serves or has served on different committees and boards to represent the town.
“None of us are here to make a living off this – but it would help,” councilmember Roger McMannis said.
“Agreed,” said councilmember Jeff McCormick.
Councilmember BJ Meador said the compensation raises would still keep Marbleton below other towns’ payments.
“That’s not much for you guys; you are managing a multimillion-dollar business,” the mayor said.
Town attorney Thayne Peterson presented Ordinance 2021-01 to amend Marbleton’s compensation; the council (with Mack Bradley absent) approved the first of three readings.
On the subject of money, the town’s first budget meeting will be on Tuesday, April 27, at 5 p.m.
Aimee Davison gave an update on behalf of the Big Piney-Marbleton Community Development, which the town council and communities have supported financially. The committee’s goals are to attract visitors and promote the southern part of Sublette County.
Local promotion projects completed in the past year include new way-finding signs, a new billboard and a new brochure that needs to be reprinted, Davison said.
The Big Piney-Marbleton Community Development website is updated with lots of information for visitors for a day or longer, she said, and a calendar is being added.
“The staff here has been integral in making this happen,” Davison said of Marbleton.
The group is working with the Pinedale Fine Arts Council to bring a musician to town and will participate with the Wyoming Range trail run in August. She is meeting with the Wyoming Business Council and others in tourism “to get ourselves better situated on the map.”
Some ideas are another billboard, more mixers, relocation packets, a car-charging station and perhaps bike rentals at Marbleton’s public restrooms, she said.
The committee realizes town money could be “tight this year” and Davison said she hopes there might be an opportunity with new COVID-19 relief funds.
“We’ll be here to help you,” McMannis said.
The mayor said budget requests will be heard next month. He mentioned a past billboard near Evanston that brought people through Kemmerer, LaBarge, Big Piney and Marbleton on their way to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Sublette Examiner editor Brady Oltmans next introduced himself and told the council he wants the 2021 Sublette County Travelers Journal to highlight all of Sublette County more than in the past. The council approved a half-page ad and suggested adding the town and committee’s websites.
Sam Bixler reported that Marbleton has positioned itself well on the state’s “intended use list” for future infrastructure grants. Last month’s “CARES 3” act gives about $170,000 more to Marbleton with four years to spend.
Flicks ‘N Pins manager Mike Orham said COVID relief applications for movie theaters crashed the system when it opened April 8 and many theater chains are struggling. Bowling is down a bit but the 2022 Wyoming Junior Bowling tour wants to stop in Marbleton next April.
The council approved a motion for Triple Peak Landscaping to start spring cleanup and irrigation.
The town hired 10 to 12 seasonal workers last summer. Clerk McCormick said a number of people have already stopped to get summer applications, which are due by May 7. Robinson said he hoped the town “can find the money again.” Applicants might attend the town’s May 10 regular meeting.
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