Marbleton to explore joining with Big Piney

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SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Marbleton Town Council agreed at its Jan. 9 meeting to explore ways that its administration and Big Piney’s might find common ground to save money with some form of partnership or annexation.

Mayor Jim Robinson asked councilmembers Jeff McCormick, Roger McMannis, BJ Meador and Karen Wenz what they thought of “the idea of joining the two towns.”

The two municipalities are barely separated land-wise but have remained separate entities, each with its own public works, water and sewer, streets and roads and parks departments.

At its Dec. 20 meeting, Big Piney Mayor Tyler Maxfield made a proposal to the town council to see if there are common areas where both towns overlap and could save money, for example, to buy one backhoe for both towns instead of one for each.

“Put it on your radar,” Mayor Robinson told the council and staff at the Jan. 9 meeting.

Economic consultant Sam Bixler suggested having a third party do a cost-benefit analysis.

“Bring in an outside source. McMannis advised, “just to save peace in the community.”

Bixler said he would do his “due diligence” and meet with Big Piney officials about possibly hiring a third party for that role.


Sublette County Chamber of Commerce Director Kaddy Fyfe-Shivers attended via Zoom and asked if the Town of Marbleton would consider renewing its membership.

Town clerk Shannon McCormick said she wrote a check for $1,500 in July for this fiscal year; the chamber’s membership runs through the calendar year. Shivers said she’d check again.

The mayor asked what plans the chamber has coming up for the Marbleton and Big Piney events and businesses. Shivers said the organization will be expanding its facade grants program down that way and planning a community cleanup.

“We schedule with Big Piney in May,” Robinson said, adding that the towns can coordinate for free dump days and they are happy to involve the chamber.

Rifle raffle

The mayor also updated the council about the citizen wanting to donate an AR-type rifle with all raffle proceeds going to the Big Piney schools’ lunch programs.

Gene Bryson of Gene’s Guns in Marbleton will take possession of the rifle while tickets are sold, according to Robinson.

“He’s donating a background check and taking care all of the legal stuff,” he said of Bryson.

Tickets would be ready to sell for a suggested $20 each as of the Marbleton Town Council’s Feb. 21 meeting and the drawing is tentatively planned for the council’s March 21 meeting.

Meador suggested that other groups might want to help sell raffle tickets to benefit the students’ lunch program.

Overdose antidote?

Mayor Robinson brought up the very recent availability of Narcan, the opioid-overdose antidote medication that quickly reverses effects of an opioid overdose including morphine, heroin, OxyContin and fentanyl.

“There’s a lot on the news about drug overdoses, like fentanyl from Mexico,” he said. “Should the town council get in on this?”

Peterson advised against it – “I do not believe we should. Narcan is not for ordinary people to administer.”

Bixler said Sublette County EMS and deputies carry it and a lot of training is involved. He brought up “Narcan parties” where people deliberately overdose to see if they can be revived.

Law enforcement and EMTs are trained for specific drug recognition, Peterson added.

“Fentanyl is like crack in the ‘80s,” he said. “It’s bad; don’t get me wrong, but Narcan is something we should not do unless and until we are trained for it.”

Councilmembers agreed that Narcan is better in the hands of local deputies and EMTs.

More Marbleton news

• The council unanimously approved Conditional Use Permit  #2022-06 CUP, from Tyson and Jessica Thornton to operate an AirBnB in town.

• Flicks ‘N Pins manager Mike Orham reported that 39 adult teams and one youth league are bowling one to three times a week.

• The council approved Resolution #2023-01, which authorizes Bixler to represent Marbleton at the upcoming State Land & Investment Board meeting to distribute ARPA grants. The town hopes to get two new trucks fitted with snowplows.

• Public works supervisor Todd Brown said in the meantime, the current plows were ready for the next snowfall. Robinson thanked employees who went out at 2 a.m. to clear the streets after the last storm.

• An executive session was held for personnel and litigation; no actions were taken.

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