Wind resolution, fresh board leadership

Town council opposes wind tax; board chairs and vacancies discussed


Outside of a resolution opposing a proposed increase in the wind power excise tax (see: COGs, page 1), there were few actionable items on the agenda at a July 19 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council. Council members Will Faust and Sue Howe were absent from the proceedings, which were attended by about 10 members of the public.

The resolution opposing the increase in the wind power tax was passed unanimously after it was first presented at the last council meeting July 5. Kara Choquette and Roxanne Perusso, from the Power Company of Wyoming (PCW) were on hand to field questions from council members and the public. PCW has made substantial investments to construct a wind farm in the area, and said that a higher tax burden could endanger the project, along with the jobs and tax revenue that project would bring. Town councils in Rawlins and Hanna also passed versions of the resolution, which was drafted by Rawlins City Attorney Amy Bach.

At the meeting, Saratoga Mayor Ed Glode also took care of several pieces of municipal housekeeping. Glode signed off on design costs incurred by Sage Engineering during the completion of a runway rehabilitation project at Shively airport. Sage’s costs came in significantly below an independent fee analysis of what Sage’s services should have cost.

Glode likewise signed off on the town’s annual waste disposal contract. The contract, between the Town of Saratoga and the Upper Platte River Solid Waste Disposal District, is calculated using a complex formula, and this year the total came out to $330,000.

Following the first meeting of fiscal year 2017 for many boards, slates of officers were also announced at the July 19 meeting. Jennifer Johnson will replace Lance Grubb as chair of the airport board. Don Price was reappointed chair of the Water and Sewer Joint Powers Board, and Jeb Steward was appointed chair of the South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services Board (SCWEMS).

Saratoga will need to fill in a vacancy on the SCWEMS Board before the next town council meeting. “I’m kind of holding out for somebody who is not an EMT (emergency medical technician). I’d rather have somebody on who’s board-trained,” Glode said of the vacancy. Former mayor John Zeiger and current SCWEMS member Casey Starr have submitted letters of interest for the opening.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be held 6 p.m. August 2, in the town hall building.


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