The Saratoga Sun -

Restart for Pickett Park?

Saratoga council hears plan to proceed with park, plea to deal with meth problem

 


The June 6 Saratoga Town Council meeting began with approval of the agenda, previous minutes and the town’s bills.

The council briefly discussed a fundraising car wash for the speech team to be held June 24 in the town parking lot. Councilman Faust asked if the parking lot needed to be closed off earlier and the mayor said that would be taken care of.

Mayor Glode mentioned that the town had received a resolution from Teton County detailing how that county was taking care of the new liquor laws due to be passed. The mayor said that existing ordinances pretty much covered everything except for defining dining areas. Councilman Wilcoxson noted that the Carbon County Council of Governments (CCOG) would be discussing that subject with the goal of having a unified county–wide ordinance at their next meeting to be held in Saratoga on June 21.

After that, Councilman Wilcoxson made a brief appeal to get the concept for Tyler Pickett Park re-approved so that he could approach persons and entities for contributions of both money and volunteer labor.

Wilcoxson listed the entities he had approached to this point and the services those groups were willing to donate.

He went on to highlight the first requirements needed after concept approval. Those included earthwork, a sprinkler system, trees and sod with a total cost of $55,000.

Councilmembers Faust and Raymer discussed making sure there was to be an area for seated contemplation at the park.

Councilman Raymer asked if the current concept was enough to go to benefactors with. Wilcoxson replied in the affirmative.

Mayor Glode suggested the recently completed survey of that property be used to tighten the concept and Councilman Faust suggested Melanie Fullman at the United States Forest Service, who had volunteered to help with laying out the concept, be contacted also. Eventually it was agreed that the concept in hand was sufficient to take to contributors.

In items from the public Tom Calison approached the council with a plea that something be done to curb the methamphetamine (meth) problem in town. Calison specifically said that he did not want to make any personal attacks on the council or police but that the mayor, after two phone calls and a written request from Calison, had missed a meeting with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on the subject. Callison went on to add he had heard from DCI agents that the Saratoga Police Department had been historically reticent to work with DCI although he did acknowledge that there was a new chief (Bifano) in town and that he respected chief Bifano.

In the end, Calison identified himself as a victim of theft, stated that there was a clear problem and strongly requested the chief and mayor get in touch with DCI and work to get something done.

During the police report later, Chief Bifano listed a number of arrests that had been made for controlled substances and related abuses in town recently. He also stated that his department was perfectly willing to work with DCI but that the agency did not currently have enough resources to spare agents for Saratoga having only two in Rawlins.

The council then rescheduled their meeting set for the July 4 to July 5 despite the fact that councilperson Ivory would not be in town for that date.

Ordinance 839 amending the Saratoga Municipal Code to authorize two bar and grill liquor licenses and Ordinance 840 which provides income to finance the town for the 2017/2018 fiscal year were both read and approved on second reading.

The mayor then reported that a town audit was scheduled for July 24-26, that Firewater Public House had applied for a Bar and Grill liquor license and that a meeting was scheduled to discuss that license at 5:30 p.m. on June 20 at the town hall.

Police Chief Bifano, aside from the remarks about the controlled substances arrests made, reported that officer Christensen was doing well at the police academy with a 90.98 percentage rating and was two-thirds of the way through his training. Bifano added the new 911 system is expected to be go live on the 15th of month.

Lisa Burton, Saratoga Recreation Department Director, noted that the swimming pool had been open since Memorial Day and that the current temperature of the pool was 90 degrees. Burton also reported lifeguard certification had been completed and that swim lessons were scheduled to start June 19.

Public Works director Jon Winter requested the town advertise for two positions for the public works department and that those positions should cross-train with water, sewer and streets departments when hired. Winter also spoke on the progress for the PVCC parking lot addition paving project, tree planting at Veterans Island, town vehicle servicing, repairs on irrigation system at the parks, and tree removal from the bridges due to higher water. Winter reported a mess at Sandy Beach to the police department and that his department had been working to the area after the Memorial Day weekend.

Winter reported that the water and sewer department has been sampling wells and looks forward to receiving those reports. The department also has the Sanistar waste system running and has been looking at inflow at the sewer lagoon due to higher water.

Winter said the weed and pest department has started dipping for mosquitoes and will begin fogging the week of June 12. Plans to aerially distribute larvicide on June 19 and an adulticide the week after were also outlined.

Under the Hot Pool, Parks and Lake report, director Winter said that a new dock was being put together at the lake and cleanup was going on around that area.

Getting to the Joint Powers board portion of the agenda, Mayor Glode read a letter of interest from Kim Lorenzen indicating his desire to be on the airport board. The letter mentioned his 36-year long service there and listed his other qualifications. The council unanimously approved Lorenzen for the board.

Mayor Glode then recommended the airport board consider changing their meeting to the fourth week of the month in an effort to boost attendance at those meetings.

Saratoga Town Clerk and airport board secretary Suzie Cox then asked permission for her and town treasurer Sammy Flohr attend a Federal Aviation Administration sponsored meeting to train on airport operations. That request was approved.

Cindy Bloomquist addressed the council for the Community Garden Board in place of Steve Deorio. Bloomquist reported the community garden workday had been rescheduled from from Saturday to Sunday due to a memorial service. Bloomquist also remarked on the beds that had been reserved and that their student help had started working.

Blooquist went on to state that the organizations the garden board is working with for their USDA grants, including Feed Laramie and The Hub, were unable to help with the grants due to those organization’s budgets being smaller than is required for those grants.

Bloomquist added the community garden board had finished their articles of incorporation and that the group should be able to start a checking account soon.

She also added that her great regret in leaving the auspices of the town, was that money for student employee’s salaries would no longer be available.

Having completed town business, Mayor Glode adjourned the meeting with no executive session.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. July 5 at the Saratoga Town Hall.

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