The Saratoga Sun -

Library, liquor, training and taxiways

Saratoga council pays Friday library hours, approves nine liquor licenses, hears about new officer training and taxiway rehabilitation


Friday library hours will be returning, and the liquor will keep flowing in Saratoga. With about 15 members of the public in attendance (including incoming council members Steve Wilcoxson and Jennie Lou Ivory), the Saratoga Town Council voted to pitch in $1,500 for the local library and to renew liquor licenses at its Nov. 15 meeting.

Carbon County Library System Director Jacob Mickelson petitioned the council for $1,500 so the facility could return to being open on Fridays starting Dec. 1. In the past, the Saratoga branch was open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, but those hours were cut over the summer following steep reductions in county funding to the library system.

In agreeing to pay the library’s Friday staffing expenses through July 1, 2017, the town government essentially assumed some of the financial burden previously shouldered by Carbon County. According to Mickelson, municipal governments in Encampment, Riverside, Baggs and Elk Mountain have also picked up some of the financial slack following the budget cuts. Mayor Ed Glode referred to the arrangement as a “one time deal to get through the fiscal year,” and after brief discussion the council voted unanimously to approve the expenditure.

In a pre-meeting public hearing, the council also heard requests to renew liquor licenses from nine local merchants. Five retail liquor licenses, one limited retail liquor license, a bar and grill liquor license, a restaurant liquor license and a microbrewery permit were all approved with minimal discussion.

A relationship between the Saratoga Police Department and the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming (PMOW) continues to bear fruit, chief Robert Bifano reported. Earlier in the summer, PMOW acquired a prescription drug disposal drop-box for the department, and more materials and training are on the way courtesy of the organization.

Bifano said that through PMOW he made a contact in the Wyoming Health Department who told him that she could acquire a $3,500 incinerator for the department. The town would have to purchase a 55-gallon steel drum for the incinerator, but otherwise the device would be provided at no cost. Old evidence and any medications collected in the drug-disposal box could be burned in the mobile unit, Bifano said.

PMOW is also funding a training to help Saratoga Police officers detect drug-impaired driving, according to the chief. The training is scheduled for mid-December and all expenses will be paid for by PMOW.

Good progression for new officer Tyler Christian was likewise reported by Bifano. After riding in the patrol car as a passenger for some time, Christian has now been entrusted with the wheel, though he is still accompanied by a training officer. The department hopes to enroll Christian in the next police academy classes starting in early January, Bifano said.

From the airport board, council member Richard Raymer announced that final tweaks to a bill from a summer taxi-lane rehabilitation project had come in. The project has long been completed but figuring out who would pay for what after some unexpected construction developments involved complicated negotiations.

The board is also considering expanding to seven members, Raymer said. Repeated absences from board meetings have resulted in the board failing to reach a quorum during meetings, most recently Nov. 9.

“It doesn’t seem to matter what day or what time (we meet),” Raymer said of the situation. The airport board recently moved its meeting time to the second Wednesday of the month, at 1 p.m in order to accommodate its members’ schedules, seemingly to no avail.

The meeting concluded with an executive session closed to the public, to discuss litigation or matters of personnel.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be held 6 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Saratoga Town Hall.


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