Saratoga Council gets resignation letter from Garland, hears about tourism, fiber optics, wind power and more
September 26, 2018
The Saratoga Town Council met at 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Saratoga Town Hall. Council member Jenny Lou Garland was not in attendance, but the rest of the council was at the meeting.
It was business as usual as the agenda and minutes from the Sept. 4 council meeting were approved, along with the financials totaling $108,043.00.
Mayor Ed Glode read the correspondence and the reason Garland was not present became apparent.
“I have a letter here which I am disappointed in and I am not sure why it happened and I hope everything is okay,” Glode said. “It is dated Sept. 17.”
The correspondence was a letter of resignation from Garland that was effective from the date written on Sept. 17.
The letter thanked all on the council and said it was with regret she was leaving but it was due to private and personal reasons.
“Because we have had one day to look into this, we are going to run with the four of us through the election and we will see what to do after that,” Glode said.
The council accepted Garland’s resignation.
Steve Wilcoxson, council member, went on record to say she was an excellent asset to the council and he thanked her for the hard work she had put in. The council agreed with him.
CCVC Tourism Report
Danny Burau, the Saratoga representative to the Carbon County Visitors Council (CCVC) introduced Leslie Jefferson, the director of CCVC. She has been going to local town councils and speaking about tourism and giving information on the subject (See “Lockdowns and catering” on page 3).
She thanked the council for electing Burau.
“He has been godsend,” Jefferson said. “I am learning a lot of marketing from him.”
Ryan Schmidt, Right of Way Supervisor from Union Telephone, gave an update on the status of fiber optic lines coming to Saratoga.
“We have been working with Jon (Winters) and his group on a potential fiber project for the city of Sarataga,” Schmidt said pointing to three maps of the town and surrounding area. “These three maps break it down to phase one of this project as it is a very intensive project.”
He said Union would start work next week and that Union would work closely with the public works department to make sure everything gets marked.
Schmidt said as the project gets farther along, there will be Union representatives brought to Saratoga to explain what is happening and what services the fiber optics upgrade.
Paul Martin, from Intermountain Wind, LLC, came before the council to tell them that BluEarth Renewables (BluEarth) was looking to develop two wind projects between Rock River and Medicine Bow. Martin owned the project until recently when he sold them to BluEarth and has been kept on as a consultant.
He said Two Rivers Wind Energy project is looking to have 280 megawatts of generation capacity and this could mean up to 80 turbines, depending on what model was used. The Lucky Star Wind Energy project will have up to 500 megawatts that would likely mean up to 200 wind turbines.
BluEarth is trying to get the wind farms commercially going by 2020.
Teresa Hart, resident of Saratoga, got up before the council to find out if she was going to have to leave Saratoga because her trailer might not conform to zoning ordinances being put forth.
“My family came here in 1972 and I have now found myself in a situation where I have been on disability for the past three years,” Hart said. “I live in a camper and I have been told that I have to move.”
Hart said she could not afford to move to Deer Haven and if she was not allowed to stay in her camper, she would have to leave Saratoga.
“I would like those voting against this (campers) to know that I am parked in a designated trailer spot, hooked up to sewer and water, I am not parked in the driveway, I am not parked in the street,” Hart said.
She said the camper she had would not be suitable for the winter and had plans to use one her sister had offered, but did not want to bring it to her current spot if it would be illegal.
“I would like you to think seriously about this and realize that everyone that moves to this town don’t all come from money or wealthy families,” Hart said. “While I still have my independence, I would love to continue living in Saratoga because it is the place I call home.”
Hart explained she had rheumatoid arthritis that was making her more crippled year after year.
“I know someday, I have to face losing my independence, but while I am still able to get around, I am asking you to please reconsider, not only for myself, but others who may find themselves in this position,” Hart said. “It is not something we choose to do if we didn’t have to, but it is all we can afford to do.”
Emergency Service Kudos
Richard Raymer, council member, told the council and public that he had missed the last meeting due to being at an accident that took several lives, including Saratoga resident Donnie Price.
“I want everybody to know the importance of emergency services to the communities,” Raymer said. “It was one of the most outstanding things I have ever witnessed.”
He encouraged the public to support the fundraisers that were going on for the emergency services.
“You never know when something like this is going to happen, but after seeing them in action, I have their backs 110 percent,” Raymer said. “They deserve a lot more than what they ask for and what they get.”
Will Faust, council member, said the lease for the medical center was being reviewed to best serve the community.
“We want to give community members assurance as far as what services will be provided on a based obligation and then depending on different levels of community support, what things will additionally be provided,” Faust said.
He asked the council to look over the lease and get back to him with any comments.
Mark Pesognelli, representitive of HMS, LLC, offered the council some documents to read on the different funding models for critical access hospitals HMS was looking over.
“I can provide you with a copy or you can go to http://www.ruralcenter.com and it explains really well about we are talking about with the models and how some are no longer functional and why they are no longer functional,” Pesognelli said.
Liquor Licenses & Child Safety
Suzie Cox, town clerk, said she had sent out the renewals for the new liquor licenses. They are due back by Oct. 5 and the notices will go out on Oct. 17 and Oct. 24. The public hearing is set for Nov. 6.
Police Chief Robert Bifano said the department had finished the 2018 National Child Safety Council campaign and had collected donations from 22 businesses in the amount of $2,070.
“For those who don’t know, what those funds allow us do is go through a wide assortment of age-based informational and learning literature and then we make a selection on what we feel will be most useful for the community,” Bifano said.
Raymer said that public works cleaned and swept 13th street getting it ready for the roto-mill. The Carbon County Bridge and Road will start hauling roto-mill product to the landfill road and pad area within landfill on Sept. 19. The crews have winterized the swimming pool and continue to flush and repair fire hydrants throughout town.
Raymer said a landing fee plan had been approved by the airport board. (For more, see the Saratoga Sun article entitled “Finding flying fees” on page one of the Sept. 19 edition).
Mobile Home Ordinance
Faust spoke to Hart before he started going over Ordinance 847 and the changes that had been made since the second reading.
“I think there may be a hoop you have to jump through or the landowner would, but there is a path,” Faust said. “I can promise you that.”
Faust said under 18.57.020, under B, the ordinance read permits shall not be transferable to a different location or property than originally issued.
Under 18.57.020 in section one of issuance of the permit, under C, 250 feet radius was inserted to be standardized.
18.57.040 N. was changed to read: “Screening in form of a wood or masonry fence shall be required between mobile home parks which adjoin conventional residential districts and the surrounding properties. Any such fence or wall in the front yard or along public rights-of-way shall not exceed four feet in height and any fence or wall in the side or rear yard shall not exceed six feet in height.”
Faust defined the term Recreational Vehicle under 18.06.500.
He said there was flexibility in the words “temporarily allowable in accordance with the permitted uses of the zone district.”
Faust then went to 18.21.020 permitted uses letter M. “Temporary occupancy of a recreational vehicle for a period of not more than 96 hours within any 30 consecutive calendar days or for not more than 90 days during construction of a residence on the same premises, which periods may be extended for up to an additional 90 days upon approval by the planning commission or mayor.”
Faust told Hart she could get a variance for her situation.
Jon Nelson, chairman of the planning and zoning board, who was in the audience agreed with Faust.
Ordinance 847 was passed with Steve Wilcoxson opposing .
The next scheduled meeting is at 6 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Saratoga Town Hall.