MARBLETON – The Marbleton Town Council approved a new lease Monday, Aug. 14, for a telecommunication company that wants to offer residents and businesses very high-speed Internet access.
Gregg Greenough, of Visionary Communications, or VCN, addressed the full council about his company’s offer to lease an installation site on a town tower and compete with other providers.
Greenough said VCN has moved into Kemmerer, Evanston, Rock Springs and Pinedale, where its main repeater on Hogsback transmits to Mount Airy.
“We’re everywhere north and south of here,” he told councilmembers Jeff McCormick, Roger McMannis, mayor Jim Robinson, B.J. Meador and Mack Bradley. “Were going to expand so we can provide good service for the state of Wyoming. The water tower is ideal and would provide the city with connectivity.”
VCN’s equipment, to start with a 20 to 24-inch dish, would be set up to not interfere with other local Internet service providers also using the town’s highest tower, he said. He said VCN will offers its services from 10 megabytes per second (mps) to 50 mps.
“We’re making sure if we tell you you’ll have 50 – if you have 20, we’ll come fix it,” Greenough added. “It forces our competition to up their game.”
The council agreed competition would benefit the town.
“Competition is good,” Robinson said. “It makes it a win-win.”
Town attorney Thayne Peterson, who wasn’t at Monday’s meeting, had already reviewed VCN’s initial lease agreement and approved it, with several changes, at $1,200 per year and free connection for town officials’ choice of customer.
Consultant Sam Bixler said Greenough had agreed the free connection could go to an entity or facility from the senior center to the fire hall.
The company would also need to use about $3 to $4 of town electricity a month, Greenough said.
“Our only constraint is that we’d really like to do it before the snow flies,” he added.
The council unanimously approved the motion to move forward with the VCN contract with employee Todd Brown as the contact in the field.
A prior discussion at the July meeting about American Tower’s negotiations for longer lease terms on behalf of T Mobile was tabled.
“I have not heard one word since we called last month,” Robinson said.
The upcoming eclipse was also touched, with all of the souvenir viewing eclipse glasses now gone that say “Marbleton” on one side and “Big Piney” on the other.
Bixler said he called several regional airports to let managers know there is space for planes to land and park at Miley Memorial Field. He also got out the word to sanitary truck operators that Marbleton has a commercial dump station.
He also reported on the pre-eclipse events scheduled at the Sublette County Fairgrounds with the Sublette Rock Hounds holding its first gem and mineral show. Volunteers from three organizations will oversee the kids’ inflatables to raise funds, collecting $5 for “all-day bouncing.” The Big Piney Booster Club will oversee the cornhole tournament as a fundraiser, as well.
“A big thank you to the sheriff’s department, the emergency department, EMS – they have been working hard on this all summer,” Bixler said.
Brown mentioned that the pre-eclipse Montana Cutting Horse Association’s event at the fairgrounds would bring additional traffic – two-legged and four – with cattle possibly along the bike path between town and the fairgrounds.
The town’s water tanks are full and will remain that way, he said.
“We’ll make sure it’s at overflow full for the weekend and turn on a few pumps and let them run…. We’re ready as we can be.”
Bixler also reported on the Normally Pressured Lance project by Jonah Energy, saying “any day now” there should be a decision and “we’re probably the closest town and (he’s) trying to get (Marbleton) on the map.”
At 7:30 p.m., Robinson opened a public hearing for the third and final reading of Ordinance 2017-01 regarding liquor sales hours. With no one speaking for or against it, the council unanimously passed the ordinance.
The council then discussed its invitation for companies to build a public restroom, parking lot, sidewalk and curbs for the town’s centennial statues, at the site of the old town hall along the highway.
A pre-bid meeting was set for Aug. 24 for interested contractors to meet at Marbleton Town Hall and preview the project.
The council also approved renewing Galen Eiden’s expired building permit for a garage.
They also discussed the application for a conditional-use permit (CUP) for Rita Thomas, requesting to move her 1981 trailer home onto her town lot.
“Do we have a set of precedents for this,” asked Robinson. “I just don’t want to tread on something we’ve passed and then regret it.”
Assistant clerk Cindy Armstrong said trailers need to be 10 years old or newer to move into city limits, which is why Thomas seeks a CUP.
Clerk Anita Bohm retrieved the ordinance, which states manufactured buildings more than 10 years old cannot be moved into town unless they are in compliance with the ordinance.
Robinson said, “It does not state why, so we can put whatever limitations we see fit and issue this CUP?”
The mayor suggested approving the CUP pending the outcome of an electrical inspection first.
The council unanimously approved Thomas’s CUP application pending the results of the inspection.