New Saratoga officials sworn in


Erik Gantt

Outgoing Saratoga Mayor John Zeiger swears in the new mayor and council. Left to right are; councilmen Richard Raymer and Will Faust and mayor Ed Glode.

At the Saratoga Town Council meeting Jan. 6, new Mayor Ed Glode, and councilmen Richard Raymer and Will Faust were sworn in and joined councilwomen Judy Welton and Susan Howe on the town council.

More than 30 people were in the audience. All three of the new town officials said they hope the public attendance of council meetings continues.

"I thought it was great, I wish we could have this for every meeting, because if we don't have people in the audience they don't know what we are doing." Raymer said.

The reappointment of town staff, including the clerk, treasurer, Chief of Police, attorney and judge has been postponed until the council meeting on Jan. 20.

"We have not have enough time to interview all of those positions and we are going to postpone that activity until the 20th," Glode said.

The council approved the designation of all current town financial depositories and both official newspapers.

Kim Johnson made a public presentation representing the Homeland Security Department and talked about the updating of the town and county flood insurance rate map. He said the process will take some time, but the map will be revised as part of the county hazard mitigation plan update.

The most contentious item during the council meeting was the first reading of Ordinance 829 which defines a "Single-Family Residential Unit" for the purpose of assigning water and sewer rates in the town. The ordinance would increase the sewer and water fee to a flat fee of $22.75 per month.

Concerns from the public revolved around the differentiation between commercial and residential buildings. Chris Shannon asked, "Is not a property that generates income and is required to pay income tax on that property, shouldn't that be considered a commercial property?"

"I think the difference defined in there is the the difference in singly family residential unit, where an apartment has the opportunity to be a 12-month dwelling, by definition hotels aren't supposed to be that way, we have a few that are, but I think that is the defined difference," Glode said.

Shannon asked if apartment owners wouldn't have vacancies as would a hotel owner and the water sewer bill would be on the owness of the property owner.

Glode replied that the water and sewer board had discussed that possibility. The apartment occupancy rate in the two main apartment complexes in town were more than 90 percent., Glode said.

Furthermore the change in the ordinance is meant to protect the town from unpaid bills by transient tenants.

Ordinance 829 passed on its first reading.

The vacancy on the water and sewer joint powers board will be advertised this week and the council will review candidates at a later time. Glode noted they have already received a couple letters of interest for the positions.

The community center will be upgrading their computer labs the week of Jan. 26. According to Joe Elder, community center director, they will be moving to a server-based system and have some audio-visual and wireless access upgrades as well.

It was also reported that the department of transportation will resurface the Wyoming Highway 130 bridge in the spring.

The next regular meeting of the Town of Saratoga Council will be at 6 p.m., Jan. 20 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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