The Saratoga Sun -

Savings possible for Saratoga on Outflow project

River dredging and mosquito abatement also hot topics at council meeting


Director of Public Works Jon Winter appeared to lower blood pressure among Saratoga Town Councilmembers when he announced that a Feb. 19 meeting with Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials had gone well.

The DEQ officials, Winter said, were optimistic that a permit issued for an outflow pipeline could be modified to result in significant savings for Saratoga. This news was met with praise, congratulations and a palpable sense of relief from the council.

Winter’s plan to clear gravel bars from underneath the Highway 130 Bridge had a more mixed reception.

Winter said the accumulations posed a major risk to boaters in the river, and the city could mitigate this risk by applying for a Nationwide No. 3 permit through the Army Corps of Engineers to have the obstructions cleared.

Resident Sally Patton expressed concern the city hadn’t consulted several landowners whose properties would be affected by the proposed dredging.

Patton also said other potential hazards in the area posed even greater threats to boaters, and debris-clearing under the bridge was only “window-dressing” that failed to address larger safety issues.

Mayor Ed Glode was not present for the contentious meeting, at which there was another round of public comment regarding how the city planned on conducting mosquito-abatement spraying over the summer.

Last summer’s aerial spraying campaign started later than usual because of contractor issues, councilman Richard Raymer explained. To compensate for this late start, the city increased its ground-level spraying.

Local beekeeper Dave Worthington complained that this spraying had killed thousands of his bees, while Glee Johnson, another resident, expressed anxieties over the effect this spraying would have on those suffering from respiratory problems.

“Over-fogging doesn’t do a whole lot of good,” Johnson said.

In response to this, Raymer said that he had suffered from mosquito-borne West Nile virus and “he wouldn’t wish [that] on anybody.”

General housekeeping made up much of the rest of the town council meeting.

In a unanimous vote, the body moved to renew its support for the Saratoga Museum at $80 a year.

The council also read and unanimously approved Ordinance No. 833, which amends the Municipal Code to lift restrictions which had been placed on businesses being run out of personal residences in town.

The council also voted unanimously in passing Resolution No. 2016-03 supporting Wyoming Department of Transportation Financial Assistance for communities with a population of 1,500 and 5,000.

This legislation will provide Saratoga with an additional $3,380 annually from the state for transportation and road maintenance.

The police department reported that it had put up several signs around town. These include Saratoga Forest Management Service signs on the North side of Saratoga and also “No Truck” signs on Bridge Street, to discourage mill traffic from using this route.

Finally, the Streets Department announced that it had begun the process of clearing the town’s storm drains, and that it will be holding its annual training on Mar. 24.

It may still be freezing most days, but spring cleaning is already well underway in the Good Times Valley.

The next Saratoga Town Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 15 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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