Vehicle vandal vexes Valley

SCWEMS representative named, Loggers roll on bridge

 


At an August 3 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council, Acting Police Chief Robert Bifano had a mixed bag of developments to report to the council and public. About five citizens were in attendance at the proceedings.

On the positive side, Bifano said that a suspect had admitted to committing a recent spate of vehicle vandalism in the Valley. “Last Thursday, we had six vehicle windows smashed out with a baseball bat,” Bifano told the room. He said a suspect had been caught and confessed to the crime. The suspect was also tied to a similar incident that took place one month ago, and to breaking into the police department impound lot, Bifano said.

Less encouragingly, Bifano said that one plan for relocating the impound lot appeared to have fallen through. The back end of the current impound lot faces the river and has no fencing, making it a less than ideal location.

Bifano said he had consulted with the Fire Department about moving the lot onto fire department property, but they said the space in question was going to be turned into a parking lot. Adding fencing and cameras to the current facility would be helpful, he said, but for the time being, “We’re trying not to put anything back there unless we absolutely have to.”


Bifano also said he had been talking with Utah-based Konecny Brothers Lumber Company about how best to keep log trucks from using the Bridge Street bridge to access the sawmill. The route is clearly marked with “No Truck” signs, but drivers have repeatedly hauled lumber down the commercial drag in recent months.

Konecny Brothers does dispatch work for Saratoga Forest Management, which operates the sawmill. Bifano reported that a representative from Konecny told him a poor-quality map provided by Saratoga Forest Management was leading to confusion among drivers, and Bifano said he would provide a better map to the firms when he met with a representative from Konecny the following morning.

“One thing about truckers is none of them like to get tickets,” council member Richard Raymer observed. He suggested that issuing citations may be one way to send a costly message to drivers if they continue to ignore posted signs.

News from other departments included the selection of Cindy Faulkner as South Central Wyoming Emergency Services (SCWEMS) Board member for Saratoga. Faulkner, a physician’s assistant, was selected by the council over current SCWEMS volunteers John Zeiger and Casey Starr, who had also submitted letters of interest. At prior meetings, Mayor Glode said he wanted to choose somebody who was not an emergency medical technician for an outside perspective.

The landfill and airport boards reported good progress on ongoing projects to the council. Raymer said the landfill transfer station was on schedule to be completed by mid-November, and the process of completing paperwork for the airport rehabilitation project continued to go smoothly, with Glode signing off on more bills for reimbursement.

The Water and Sewer Board may be facing a more difficult situation, however. Raymer reported that an August 2 meeting with the Department of Environmental Quality to discuss the ownership of a disputed sewer line had been “interesting.” Raymer said it remained unclear who put the line in and it would on the docket at an August 10 board meeting

The town council meeting ended in executive session closed to the public. Litigation and personnel matters are often discussed in these closed sessions.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be 6 p.m. August 16 at the Saratoga Town Hall.

 

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