Few brave wind for short meeting

Saratoga council covers routine business, discusses insurance pool election and adjourns in under 25 minutes


Few ventured into howling winter wind to attend the Dec. 6 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council. About five members of the public (including incoming council member Jennie Lou Ivory) turned out for the conclave, which wrapped up in less than 25 minutes, after the council had attended to a slate of routine business.

On top of the to-do list for the council is determining who to vote for in elections to the Local Government Liability Pool (LGLP). The LGLP is “a self-insurance liability pool for Wyoming Local Governmental entities,” according to a website run by the group. Shuler Boone, a claim manager at LGLP said the pool represents over 520 airport boards, town councils, joint powers boards and other municipal bodies across the state.

Two three-year positions on the seven-member LGLP board will be vacated Jan 1, 2017, and since the Saratoga town government members are insured through the LGLP, the council gets to cast a vote for each position.

In the first race, Tom Ringley, of Sheridan County, is running unopposed to represent county commissioners on the LGLP.

The more dynamic race is a five-person election for the LGLP’s at-large position. “(The five candidates) are all very involved in a lot of things,” Saratoga Town Clerk Suzie Cox said. Mayor Ed Glode replied, “Maybe, so we’re not making an uneducated decision–it says these ballots are due no later than Dec. 30–should we act on this at the next meeting?” The council agreed to postpone voting for two weeks while researching the candidates.

Per regulations, a Dec. 1 positive test for coliform bacteria at Saratoga’s wastewater lagoon sparked an investigation and more testing at each of the five wells in the lagoon, director of public works Jon Winter said. Those subsequent tests all came back negative, however, Winter said, raising the possibility that the initial positive sample had been inadvertently compromised. “We’re going to sit down and talk about our sampling procedure and make sure we’re being careful,” Winter said.

Winter also reported that Kathy Norris, from Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) ,had answered one of the town’s queries about driving equipment across the Cadwell Slough. The Cadwell Slough is a low-water crossing between Veteran’s Island and the East bank of the Platte River. According to Winter, Norris told the town that the slough could be forded for “maintenance activities” on Veterans Island and that no waiver would be required from her office for such crossings.

From the landfill board, council member Richard Raymer said that a transfer station building for the facility was all but finished. “I don’t know when their official completion date is, but I know they’re basically down to line-item checklist stuff,” Raymer said of the project.

The recreation department’s Lisa Burton also had good news to report. A Dec. 3 youth basketball camp taught by four high school students had drawn about 60 participants, and was well-appreciated by the children, Burton said.

At the meeting, Glode read a letter to the council from the Carbon County Visitors Center (CCVC). The letter included some encouraging metrics related to Carbon County tourism. Over 29,000 people attended conferences and events in the county over 2016, the letter said, including over 18,000 visitors from out-of-county. The total economic impact of these visitors and events was calculated to be $3.2 million in the letter, which further stated that “This number is expected to grow as final (event and conference) reports come in.”

The CCVC awarded 46 advertising and sponsorship grants worth over $125,000 to 11 museums and historic sites in the county, the letter stated. “Tourism is alive and well in Carbon County, Wyoming,” it concluded.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be held 6 p.m. Dec. 20 in the Saratoga Town Hall.


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