When one, two,
three companies bid to build ball
fields all exceeded estimates, the
Town of Pinedale stopped short of
throwing the bids “out.” Instead, they
used alternate bids to get the prices
down and then go to their two partners
with bids in hand asking them to
come up with two-thirds of the added
Sublette County Commissioners
were approached by Pinedale Mayor
Matt Murdock during their May 5
meeting asking the county to come up
with another $250,000.
Initially, the estimated costs for the
ball fields, to match facilities the town
is giving up so a critical access hospital
can be built, were projected at $3.3
million. When bids were opened in
late April, all three companies came
in high – really high – with one bid
touching on $5.47 million.
Staff and contractors went back
to the drawing board – throwing out
items, doing work in-house and settling
for a lower grade soil.
In the end, Teletractors came in
with the low bid of $3.977 million.
Mid-America Golf’s bid was $4.1
million and Westwood Curtis came in
at $4.6 million.
“Staff worked really hard to get the
bids down,” Murdock said. He added
the town has invested more than $5
million over the years to get the Skyline
Drive facilities where they are.
He added the town has also stepped
up, paying in full the costs to complete
Wilson Street, which was required by
the Wyoming Department of Transportation
and Sublette County School District
He asked that the county, town and
health care district follow the original
agreement to the higher cost, with each
paying an additional $250,000.
Commissioner Joel Bousman was
discouraged, saying they used the property
on the hill to save money. However,
it now appears new ball fields weren’t
such a good deal.
Chairman David Burnett confirmed
the higher price was to replace the same
facilities the two would be giving up.
Murdock said all other “wants” were
put into alternate bid options. “Staff
worked diligently with contractors to
get this cost.”
“Perception is reality,” Commissioner
Mack Rawhouser said. “It looks
like taxpayer dollars are going to build
a ball field.”
Burnett said that isn’t the case. The
money is going to purchase the land on
the hill for the proposed critical access
David Doorn, administrative director
for the Sublette County Rural Health
Care District, was asked if the district’s
board would approve the added expense.
He said he didn’t know. However,
he said, “If the county doesn’t, the
entire project is dead in the water.”
He said this is the one piece still
hanging out there, with the memorandum
of understanding between
the board and the Sublette Center. He
added that was very close with only a
few words left under discussion.
“If we don’t have the land, the MOU
doesn’t matter,” Doorn said.
Commissioner Tom Noble said, “I
don’t want to hold up the big picture.”
Commissioner Doug Vickrey said he
supported approving the $250,000. “It’s
money well spent just to give voters an
opportunity during the general election
to either vote for or against a hospital
Bousman said he would vote for it to
send it on to voters. “But I do think of
the town paying $5 million for what’s
there; it blows my mind.”
Sublette County Commissioners
agreed to pay the additional $250,000.
A special meeting is scheduled for
Tuesday, May 12, at 4 p.m. by the Sublette
County Rural Health Care District.
The only items on the agenda are a budget
amendment for the purchase of the
Pinedale ball fields. The meeting will be
in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room
of the Courthouse.
Commissioners also agreed to extend
the existing lease for the two clinics,
waiving rent for another year.