Articles written by Kathleen Stinson For The Saratoga Sun


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  • New rates for wind generation

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Jun 20, 2024

    Carbon Power & Light, Inc., a nonprofit member-owned cooperative that distributes electricity, has established a new rate which affects three members operating utility-scale wind generation systems in its service area. Carbon Power and Light, Inc. serves 1,974 miles of energized line across 4,500 square miles in portions of Carbon and Albany counties in south central Wyoming, according to its website at https://www.carbonpower.com/service-area. This new rate does not affect the remaining 4,397 members belonging to the cooperative, said Joe...

  • Plan for the river we have

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Jun 6, 2024

    The mismatch between the supply of water the Colorado River can provide and the demand for its resource throughout the West has given rise to plans proposed this spring to reduce the level of consumption and rebuild storage at Lake Powell Reservoir. The states that draw water from the river proposed the plans this spring. They have yet to reach a consensus. The two largest reservoirs on the Colorado River are Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Reservoirs are man-made lakes designed to store water during wet years and supplement natural precipitation...

  • Road Construction Limited in Carbon County

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Jun 6, 2024

    The Wyoming Department of Transportation has two road construction projects going on in Carbon County this summer. WYDOT Public Relations Specialist Andrea Staley said the two projects are a bridge rehabilitation project that has a structure on Wyoming Highway 76 at MM 221.68 and another on Interstate 80 near Wagonhound. Crews with Reiman Corp. and the Wyoming Department of Transportation began a bridge rehabilitation project in April on Interstate 80 near Laramie, according to a WYDOT press release. The project began at milepost 302.91 in the...

  • Applying for seniority

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|May 23, 2024

    *Editor's Note: The online edition of this story has been updated to include comments from HF Sinclair received after the print deadline* The Wyoming State Engineer’s Office is holding a public meeting in June in Saratoga to allow the HF Sinclair Refinery to explain its proposed exchange of water rights and give the public an opportunity to comment on what effect that may have on their water rights. “The State Engineer’s Office is holding a public meeting on the proposed HF Sinclair Exchange to provide a public forum for the Petitioner to ex...

  • Joint-dispatch workshop postponed

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|May 16, 2024

    At the May 7 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council, Mayor Chuck Davis said the public hearing to consider whether to create a joint dispatch center to serve the sheriff’s department and the county municipalities set for May 13 was tabled for logistical reasons. “The council is working to get a date confirmed,” Davis said, referring to when to reschedule the meeting. Getting everyone’s schedules to agree had proven difficult. Police Chief Mike Morris said they have agreed “in principle” that the best way to create a joint dispatch center would be...

  • Changes in affect ahead of primary election

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 25, 2024

    The Wyoming Legislature has changed some of its dates and deadlines that take effect in the 2024 election. The state has made a change to the date absentee ballots are sent out. Absentee ballots used to go out 45 days ahead of the election, said Gywnn Bartlett, Carbon County Clerk. Now absentee ballots will be sent out 28 days ahead of the election. This change does not apply to Uniformed and Overseas Citizens, Bartlett said. Those ballots will continue to be sent out 45 days ahead of the...

  • Ur-Energy to reopen Shirley Basin Mine

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 25, 2024

    Ur-Energy Inc., a large uranium mining company in North America, is reopening Shirley Basin Mine in Carbon County for the purpose of pumping out uranium. A different owner had operated Shirley Basin Mine until closing it in 1992. “Ur-Energy purchased the assets of Pathfinder Mines Corp in 2013, including the Shirley Basin Project, because of the high quality of the remaining mineralization,” said John Cash, CEO and president of Ur-Energy Inc. “The uranium price was too low in 2013 to suppo...

  • Saratoga Town Council hears project updates

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 25, 2024

    Saratoga’s water line replacement project will begin in May, said Public Works Director Emery Penner at the April 16 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council. “I don’t expect a big interruption in water service,” Penner said during his report on the Water and Sewer Joint Powers Board. In other business, the bids for the surfacing project at Never Forget Park came in higher than expected, Penner said. “We are going back to the drawing board on this project,” he said. The town rejected the Rocky Mountain Sand and Gravel bid of $389,742. “We’ll get mo...

  • New hires and recreation grants

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 11, 2024

    The Town of Saratoga recently hired two new full-time police officers who started on April 1. At the Saratoga Town Council meeting on April 2, Mayor Chuck Davis administered the oath of office to one of them, Casey Lehr. For several months, the police department has been operating with only three full-time officers which has stretched the department’s resources, said Police Chief Mike Morris in a later interview. He said the department has been “busy answering calls and doing what was nee...

  • Long term solutions for short term rentals

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 11, 2024

    Some cities and towns in tourist destinations like Wyoming and Montana have been capping, or are looking at capping, the number of allowable short-term rentals as a way to increase the number of long-term rentals for workforce housing. Some of these cities say requiring a permit through the ordinance gives the fire department authority to make safety inspections. This ensures properties are safe to occupy with working smoke alarms and other safety protections for the guests. The ordinance permit process gives towns a way to track the number of...

  • 'No statutory requirement'

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 11, 2024

    The number of short-term rentals operating in Saratoga is unknown, unless the town creates an ordinance to track those with a permitting process. Airdna and another website which tracks these statistics do not agree, as previously reported in the Saratoga Sun. AirDNA and Key Data are the only two websites that provide this data information. Key Data, a vacation rental market data company based in the United Kingdom, cannot provide numbers more specific than Carbon County. The town does not require short-term rentals to have a business permit an...

  • Housing in Hulett

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Apr 4, 2024

    About 23 years ago, another small town in Wyoming faced similar obstacles to building low-income housing like the Town of Saratoga. Hulett, Wyoming, with a population of 323 at the 2022 U.S. Census, is that town. James S. and Sally Ann Neiman, owned the Neiman Mill in Hulett, which cut pine for lumber. According to their daughter, and former manager of the Hulett Community Housing Authority, Connie Lindmier, her parents led the effort to find low-income housing for Hulett. They wanted to provide affordable housing for their employees. Ultimatel...

  • 'Not a bit different'

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Mar 28, 2024

    The Saratoga Town Council discussed on March 19 whether to bring back for consideration a short-term rental ordinance which would regulate vacation rentals after a group of residents expressed their interest and the planning commission indicated it wanted to pursue this. Town Planning Administrator Emery Penner said in his report the planning commission had “a long conversation” with the public about an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals, such as AirBNBs. Four members of the public came to the meeting, he said. McCall Burau, chairman of...

  • Taking the first step

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Mar 21, 2024

    The Wyoming State Legislature passed two senate bills aimed at incentivizing the recruitment and retention of volunteers for emergency medical services (EMS) this session, but neither address the need for a revamp in the reimbursement system that financially supports the service. The local director of South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Service based in Saratoga, Stayton Mosbey, said these bills are “small steps in the right direction –everything that helps to attract someone to volunteer is worth it.” However, Mosbey said, there is anoth...

  • Prop tax bills await Gov's signature

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Mar 21, 2024

    Five different versions of a property tax relief bill, which passed the Wyoming State Legislature this session and offer substantial savings to the citizens, are on Governor Mark Gordon’s desk as of Tuesday awaiting his signature. House District 40 Representative Barry Crago said he is not sure which bills the Governor will sign. He may look at how they work together as a group. He has 15 days from Friday to decide. House Bill 45, sponsored by Crago, proposes to cap the maximum allowable increase in property taxes each year at 4 percent in i...

  • Might not pencil out

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Mar 14, 2024

    One way to provide lower-income housing to residents is to use Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) through an IRS program administered by the Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) for the state of Wyoming. One of these LIHTC developments is currently under construction in Jackson, Wyoming, said Mark Feilmeier, state director with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The LIHTC program has also helped fund the building of three developments in Rawlins, said Christopher Volzke, Deputy Executive Director of the Wyoming...

  • Mayor Davis lists council's success

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Mar 14, 2024

    At its March 5 meeting, Mayor Chuck Davis described the Saratoga Town Council’s accomplishments over its first year, saying he is proud of how the council has “come together.” “I think we have made some accomplishments in the first year we’ve been here and I’m very proud of that,” Mayor Davis said. The council worked on many new projects and hired several people. He enumerated each of the accomplishments. Referring to the period between January 2023 and January 2024, he said the council hired a new treasurer, Corina Daily; a new Department of...

  • More density, more affordability

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Mar 7, 2024

    *Editor's Note: The online version of this article has had the headline updated to more accurately reflect the nature of the City of Cheyenne's ordinance* As part of an effort to make housing more affordable, the City of Cheyenne, Wyoming, passed a group of ordinances in December that eliminate lot area minimums and density requirements for some types of housing. The changes make it easier and less expensive for developers to construct housing. As a result, the city expects more housing will be built and the greater the supply compared to the...

  • Cleaning up the code

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 29, 2024

    The Town of Saratoga is working on making its subdivision ordinance easier for developers to understand and access. This is one of the planning commission’s recent set of goals, said Emery Penner, town zoning administrator and public works director. Rewriting the ordinance in this way will be a lengthy process and involve several public hearings before both the planning commission and the council before the new ordinance can be adopted, Penner said. The town’s subdivision ordinance is located in Title 17 and 18 of the town’s code of ordin...

  • Helping people into housing

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 29, 2024

    Residents in Carbon County are eligible for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) low-interest home loans, if they meet the income eligibility requirements, according to the state director of rural development. State Director of USDA Rural Development Glenn Pauley spoke to the Saratoga Sun on Friday about the low-interest loan program. “We have a low-interest loan at 4.625 percent and if the income is low enough, it can go down to 1 percent,” Pauley said. The terms are typically for 33 to 38 years and are USDA rural home loans. In Car...

  • Get the lead out

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 22, 2024

    About three weeks ago, the Town of Saratoga Public Works Department started collecting data to inventory all water service lines in order to meet a requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is requiring all communities to inventory their water service lines for lead content by October 2024. “In 1986 Congress Amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, prohibiting the use of pipes, solder or flux that were not “lead free” in public water systems or plumbing in facilities providing water for human consumption,” as stated on epa.gov...

  • The challenge of rural EMS

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 15, 2024

    In recent years, some emergency medical services in Wyoming have struggled to stay in business. According to Dirk J. Dijkstal, Health Readiness and Response Section Chief for Wyoming Department of Health, at least 11 agencies have been replaced by another, consolidated or closed their doors since 2015. The State of Wyoming does not mandate county government to provide emergency medical services. As a result, these operations have to find other ways to fund their businesses. Emergency medical service is a high-cost industry and healthcare...

  • Council moves forward on projects

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 15, 2024

    The Saratoga Town Council voted to move forward on two public works projects at its February 6 meeting. One of the projects is the River Street Project, which will “roughly start at Elm Street and head south just across the Hugus Ditch,” said Public Works Director and Zoning Administrator Emery Penner in a later interview. “It will also include a section that will loop Walnut and Maple streets to the east of River Street as well as a new piece of pipe to the swimming pool.” In his report to the council, Penner said the River Street Project...

  • Davis: Consider Consequence of Property Tax Relief

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 8, 2024

    With the 2024 Budget Session convening February 12, a number of bills are aimed at providing property tax relief to Wyoming residents. House District 47 Representative Bob Davis (R - Baggs) said the ramifications of some of the residential property tax relief bills being proposed for the upcoming legislative session need to be weighed against a loss in funding for essential government-funded services. For example, counties get 17.23 percent of property tax revenues, which they use to provide essential services. Some legislators are talking...

  • Cost saving and time saving?

    Kathleen Stinson for the Saratoga Sun|Feb 8, 2024

    The Town of Saratoga may be considering switching contracting with the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office for dispatch services following the January 16 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council. Currently, the Town operates its own dispatch services and contracts for the Town of Encampment. The City of Rawlins and the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office also have their own dispatch. All other municipalities such as Hanna, Medicine Bow and Baggs contract with the sheriff’s office. Some other parts of Wyoming have made the change to a joint dispatch syste...

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