SUBLETTE COUNTY – Sublette County Treasurer Roxanna Jensen approached the county commissioners at their regular meeting last Tuesday to see if she could clear a few outstanding – and delinquent – accounts off her books.
“I’m asking that you give me permission to take those off the tax rolls,” Jensen said April 4.
“So once those get taken off, it’s just forgiven?” chairman Andy Nelson asked.
“Yeah,” Jensen said.
The delinquent accounts go all the way back to 2008 and involve four particular entities, with unpaid taxes totaling $1,617.76.
Then there are the mobile homes. Seventeen mobile homes were listed by Jensen as having unpaid taxes. Of those, two are gone and 15 are unlivable.
“The ones I really don’t know what to do with are the unlivable ones that the Assessor’s Office has taken off the tax rolls because they’re missing windows, doors, the roofs are caved in,” Jensen said. “They’re just unlivable.”
Many of the trailers are located in Mountain Village Park, or Daniels Mobile Home Park, south of Big Piney, which has “gone through a tax sale.”
“Whoever gets it in the tax sale will end up getting those and having to clean that up?” commissioner Tom Noble wondered.
According to Jensen, the buyer would have five years to redeem them.
“If they take the final step and apply for a tax deed, then they can get the property, but do they want to take on that financial burden? I don’t now,” Jensen said.
“It depends on whether the ground is worth cleaning up or not,” commissioner Joel Bousman said.
Noble wondered if the fire departments could burn the buildings and use it as a fire-training exercise, but according to county clerk Mary Lankford, that would pose health risks that the Environmental Protection Agency is not keen to support.
“The fire guys will not go and burn a trailer, so they are the bane of society,” Lankford said.
Jensen also has three businesses that failed to pay their 2016 property taxes, including the Pinedale-based Silver Lining Salon and Spa, Rig Cleaner and Captured Time Photography.
“The Captured Time informed us last year that she moved to Florida,” Jensen said. “She cam and paid her ’15s but refused to pay her ’16s because she had moved out of state by the time it was assessed.”
Jensen’s recommendation was to “get rid of all of these,” and the commissioners agreed.
“These are people with businesses that just pick up and leave and don’t let you know they’re no longer in business, so they stay on the tax roll,” Nelson said.
Three other businesses – Black Diamond Energy, Pure Petroleum, and Iron Mountain Operating – also owe back taxes, which total $127,074.68 between the three. Two are still doing business in the county and the commissioners opted to keep them on the rolls.
“All they have to do is write a check and pay their taxes,” Bousman said.
In other news from the meeting:
• Sublette County School District No. 9 Superintendent Steve Loyd opened the meeting by thanking the commissioners for use of the fairgrounds for bus parking, following the collapse of the district’s bus barn due to a heavy snow last fall.
“We really, really appreciate that,” said Loyd, adding that the district plans to construct and move into a new bus barn by the fall.
In the meantime, the buses will be cleared from the fairground “as soon as school’s out,” according to Loyd.
• The commissioners granted a beer permit to the Sublette County Sports Association for the Rendezvous Rodeo, which will take place July6-8.
• The board decided to put two vacancies on the Golf Committee, which helps manage Rendezvous Golf Course, out to the public for applications.
• The board agreed to request that the state of Wyoming refill the position of a public health nurse, following the two-week notice that was given by a current nurse recently.
“(The state) will not even start advertising until after the person is gone, so there will be a spot in there,” Bousman said. “She will have to get by.”
• The commissioners visited with Sue Sommers and Cat Urbigkit – authors of the annual “State of the County Report” – about what this year’s publication should look like, as well as the costs.
“It’s very well done. It does make a ready reference,” said commissioner Dr. David Burnett. “I think it’s a good source of information for people in the county who want to know what’s going on.”
The commissioners discussed reducing the number of pages, going black and white, and using different paper for the publication in hopes of reducing the cost by 20 percent in anticipation of the county’s revenue being “20 percent lower than we were last year,” Nelson said.
The commissioners agreed to print 1,000 copies that will be distributed throughout the county and to post the report on its website once it’s completed.
• The commissioners agreed to advertise the hay job for a 40-acre parcel that the county owns on the corner of Highway 191 and Pole Creek Road.
• The board granted 10 scholarships to high school seniors in Sublette County, with five given to each school district.
In Big Piney, Adysan Applin, Alexis Bennett, Rachel Forrester, Lucas Hatcher and Britany Kirkwood were the recipients.
In Pinedale, Micah Brown, Britney Covill, Abigail Ennis, Scott Noble and Taylor Ryckman received the scholarships.
• The commissioners held a public hearing for a budget amendment that transferred $1.05 million to its general fund, which included $36,000 in unanticipated revenue.
• The next Sublette County Board of Commissioners meeting is Tuesday, April 18, starting at 9 a.m.