Pinedale Town Council Meeting Notes
Council votes to pay legal expenses for David Smith
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
April 10, 2007
The Pinedale Town Council met in their regular session on Monday, April 8th. Below are reporter’s notes of this meeting.
Town votes to pay for David Smith’s legal costs for Supreme Court appeal
The Council voted to absorb the legal costs for former Town Councilman David Smith in his appeal to the Supreme Court for the ruling that ousted him from his seat on the Pinedale Town Council, deeming him an ineligible candidate.
Proposed Ordinance 410 – Elector vote for Water Right/Permit Transfers fails
A proposed new Town ordinance that would providing that the sale, gift, transfer or release of waters or water right or permits owned by the Town of Pinedale be prohibited without prior approval by the qualified electors of the Town of Pinedale failed. This was the 1st Reading for the proposed ordinance. Initially, the Council appeared in favor of the ordinance, however during discussion Councilwoman Nylla Kunard questioned the Town’s history of donating water to irrigators in the past and wondered if that would be something that would require an election under the proposed new ordinance. Because of concerns the ordinance would “open a can of worms” requiring an election on too narrow water issues, the Council was split on the vote 2-2, and Mayor Smith cast the deciding nay vote, causing the motion and ordinance to fail.
Selection of Engineering firms for upcoming Town sewer & water projects
The Council voted to hire Rio Verde Engineering for Phase I and WLC Engineering for Phase III of the upcoming Town sewer and water projects.
- Beetle Infested Trees in Pinedale Town Parks Kathleen Peterson, from the Pinedale Tree and Park Board, reported that at least 20 trees in the Town parks have beetle infections. She said that studies have shown this is a problem that quickly grows. One infected tree today equals 81 infected trees in four years. Remedies are to remove the infected trees, spray non-infected trees, and ultimately replant with species not susceptible to beetle infestations. Cost is roughly $16-$20 per tree for preventative measures for tree treatments, which lasts one year. The Tree Board will advertise soon to look for qualified contractors to carry out the tree treatment program.
- Pinedale Main Street Beautification Pinedale citizen Martha Ptasnik spoke about the Main Street Beautification Project. When asked by the Council what she had in mind, she replied “nothing in particular” right now. She felt it was important to go to the community first and find out what they would like to see. She mentioned ‘maintaining the town’s western character and artistry’ as examples of desired goals. She said has talked with a lot of people who are interested in doing something about Pinedale’s main street and has people who are willing to volunteer. The Council suggested she also get with the Sage & Snow Garden Club members, since they do summer flower pot plantings down main street every year, and coordinate her efforts with theirs.
- Orcutt Hill Spring Seepage Problem in Lee Ditch Paul Hagenstein, representing the Board of Directors of the Pine Creek Ditch Association, reported on the continuing problem of spring water seepage from Orcutt Hill draining into their Lee Ditch. The problem has been going on for decades and has been dealt with via piping excess flows into the Pinedale Town sewer system. In the winter the water freezes and overflows Lee Ditch and has to be dealt with. Apparently 2006 was the last year that the Town would allow the water to be piped into the city sewer, so now a new solution has to be found. Hagenstein noted that the water is not Ditch Association water, rather spring seepage from Orcutt Hill that runs into the Lee Ditch, which is water that belongs to the State. It’s not the Ditch Association’s water, but it is their problem which they have had to deal with because it flows into their ditch at the base of Orcutt Hill.. Flow measurements show a flow rate of 100 gallons per minute at times, which is a substantial amount of water to pass through the sewer lagoon. The Town and Ditch Association will do measurements over the next several weeks to try and determine the status and try to work on a solution for the future.
- Green River Rendezvous/Sublette County Chamber of Commerce events Sublette Chamber Director Kim Andrews and staff member Terri Swift reported on upcoming Chamber plans for July Rendezvous Days. The Chamber would like to utilize Boyd Skinner Memorial Park and the American Legion Park for some events this year. Uses might include food court vendors, children’s activities, kid’s fishing derbies, a horseshoe tournament and possibly music. They also would like to utilize the commons lawn at the Courthouse, and close a portion of South Franklin Avenue, as part of better organizing street vendors. They hope to have live music at the rodeo grounds, which would end before the evening rodeos. They will report back with more updates at future meetings as details get worked out.
Zoning Agenda Items:
Shelter Park Subdivision rezone request R to RS-1: This is county property within the one-mile radius of the Town limits. The County wants to have permanent bathroom facilities and redirect lighting in the park. Town Council voted to recommend approval.
Trails End Subdivision: J & P Investments request to reconfigure lot lines to better utilize lot space for construction projects. Approved.
Orcutt Hill Subdivision: Correction of lot lines to adjust due to houses that were inadvertently built over the lot lines. Approved.
Hennick Addition: Request by Eric Bruesewitt for a lot division on townhouse property, putting lot line down common wall of the townhouse. Approved.
Applicants for vacant Planning & Zoning Board member: Three applications were received for the Planning & Zone Board member slot made vacant by Janet Montgomery resigning. The Council will review the applications and make a recommendation for approval at a future meeting.
Request by Sublette County Maintenance to waive Town of Pinedale No Dig restriction for emergency work near courthouse Sublette County maintenance foreman Andy O’Neal submitted a request for a waiver of the No Dig restriction, permit fees and bond in order to dig near the courthouse for emergency electrical and drain pipe work. Approved.
Purchase request for 1 ton of Magnesium Hydroxide for sewer lagoon Randy Hubbard requested additional chemicals for the waste water treatment plant at an approximate cost of $4,200. Approved.
Permission request by Sublette County School District #1 to install concrete barriers in front of the elementary school to better regulate traffic flow and for children safety during loading and unloading Approved.
Wendi Schwartz – Need for Stop Signs Schwartz expressed her concern for the need for stop signs in residential areas around town which currently are uncontrolled intersections or only have yield signs. She said with the growth of the town, traffic has also increased, and there is a concern for public safety. She has spoken with the Sheriff’s Department, and they said they would look into the matter. The question was raised about the possible need for a leash law in town also, however Schwartz said that was the last thing she wanted to have happen because of her coming to the Council trying to focus on the need for stop signs. Everyone agreed that there was a need for more enforcement of existing laws. Mayor Smith said the Sheriff’s Department would come before them at an upcoming meeting and they would discuss it with them then.
John Mackey – two issues – Need for a Stop Light/Sewer & Water hookup rates Pinedale attorney John Mackey spoke on the topic of a traffic light in Pinedale. He said he had talked with WYDOT and the cost for one light was placed at $200,000 to $250,000. He said WYDOT said the Town could put one in if they were willing to pay for it. WYDOT feels if the Town puts in one light, they should put in three lights to properly control the traffic flow. Mackey’s second comment related to sewer and water hookup rates for new subdivisions and how the Town would pay for the cost of delivering those services. He indicated that currently revenue falls short of operating expenses. The Town is working on this issue and determining costs and hookup rates for new subdivisions.
407, 3rd Reading, Water & Sewer Services outside Town of Pinedale Passed
408, 2nd Reading, Condominium Developments Passed.
408, 2nd Reading, Subdivision criteria Passed.
410, 1st Reading, Electorate vote on water issues Failed.
Executive Session - Pending Litigation Action in regular session was vote for Town to absorb legal costs for Dave Smith’s Supreme Court appeal.