The Saratoga Sun -

Budgeting time


A sleepy agenda and the necessity of reading several lengthy budgetary amendments verbatim may have kept attendance down at the June 21 Saratoga Town Council Meeting. Less than 10 citizens came to the proceedings, which finalized the town budget for Fiscal Year 2017 and saw the resignation of Glee Johnson from the Water and Sewer Joint Powers Board.

Johnson has served on the board since October of 2014 and had a full year left in her three year term, which was set to expire in July 2017, but offered no reason for her resignation. The succinct letter she sent to the council said, in part, “My experience as a member has taught me a great deal for which I am grateful.”

David Christman, whose three-year term on that board was set to expire in July, wrote the council a letter expressing interest in serving again and was unanimously reappointed.

The South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services (SCWEMS) Joint Powers Board will also have a position opening up following the expiration of Saratoga appointee Mike Farver’s term July 1. Mayor Ed Glode read two letters from parties interested in taking Farver’s post. SCWEMS EMT Casey Starr touted her seven years spent as first a driver and then an EMT in the service. Starr also said she would be a good fit for the job since she was not on any other elected board and would not face any time conflicts or pressure from an employer

Current Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator John Zeiger also expressed interest in taking the SCWEMS board position. A former Saratoga Mayor, Zeiger cited ten years in public office, time as a SCWEMS driver beginning in 2015, and experience in law enforcement, arguing that this background makes him well-prepared for dealing with the SCWEMS board.

The council will vote on the next SCWEMS appointment July 5.

On request from Acting Chief Robert Bifano, the council voted to hire Jerry Black as a full-time officer for the force. Black has been working with the department full time for some months, but has not had access to the benefits available to full-time officers.

Black’s hiring was delayed at the last meeting while a contract was written stipulating that Black would be responsible for paying a penalty if he left the force before 24 months had passed. Two previous officers had recently departed after less than two years in Saratoga, saddling the town with their expensive training costs. The town will formally hire Black pending an attorney’s review of the contract language.

Council member and airport board representative Richard Raymer reported that the Shively Field taxilane rehabilitation project was completed, although there was still some striping left to be done. With the project effectively finished, the council voted to formally request promised state and federal funds to help pay for the project.

Of the roughly $660,500 project, the federal government will cover 90 percent (about $594,464) Wyoming will cover 6 percent (about $39,631) and Saratoga will be responsible for the remaining 4 percent (about $26,421). Glode called the arrangement “a pretty big project for not too much money.”

Saratoga also formally passed its budget for Fiscal Year 2017 at the meeting. The budget estimates total combined revenues of $3,252,570 for the general fund next year, and total general fund expenditures of $3,251,180, leaving estimated excess funds of $1390. The budget anticipates $7,444,122.84 in enterprise revenue and enterprise expenditures of $7,301,192.84. That will leave $142,930 in revenues above expenditures for the enterprise fund.

The next Saratoga Town Council meeting will be held 6 p.m. July 5 at town hall.


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