The Saratoga Sun -

Saratoga Council hears a wide range of topics

Community Garden reveals high water usage, Ladies’ Night Out discussed. New officer, airport fees, clinic robocalls, patient record requests and missing clinic equipment all heard at meeting.


November 28, 2018

All current members of the Saratoga Town Council were present at 6 p.m on Nov. 20 at the Saratoga Town Hall for the regularly scheduled meeting.

The agenda and minutes for the Nov. 6 meeting were quickly approved as were the approval of bills which totaled $106,145.54.

Susan Marich, president of the Saratoga Community Garden, introduced herself to the council.

“I know we were affiliated with you in the past,” Marich said. “I am not sure exactly where we are at with our affiliation, but I thought I would give a quick update.”

She said there were 14 members at large and that they had filled all the beds available this year.

“We feel we had a very successful year,” Marich said. “We had 28 students with teachers come and learn about seeds, gardening and things like that.”

She said the garden had a successful harvest with apples, raspberries, plums, tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, bok choy and pumpkins.

“We just had a really good year,” Marich said. “We did a big clean up at the end of the year and we think it is looking really good.”

She said a goal the club had was to get the use of the water situation under control. Marich said there were some leaks that probably contributed to higher use of water.

“I’m still learning things about the role of the garden in our community, but we have a lot invested in the garden, and my big question is, do we have a lease?” Marich asked.”If we don’t, can we put together some sort of memorandum of understanding (MOU) about the lease and the water so we know just how much we can do and cannot do.”

Mayor Ed Glode told Marich last year the town had taken the community garden out of the town budget and treated it like a park. He asked council member Richard Raymer if he knew how much water was being used.

“We had several months that we were in excess of 70,000 gallons water up there,” Raymer said. “I think that is something that needs to be seriously looked at, because when looking at things from water and sewer side, we are trying to figure out water loss.”

He said, this summer, the community garden was glaring with how much water it was using.

“It is a lot,” Marich agreed.

Raymer said he had gone over the water usage with town clerk Suzie Cox and it appeared there must be a major leak or people were leaving the water on.

“I think we need to come to a reasonable number for the gallons used and any overage should be charged to the garden board.” Raymer said. “I don’t know what a realistic number is.”

Marich said because she was still new, she could not give a realistic number. She told the council she has a background in landscaping so she realized 70,000 gallons was a large amount of water.

“We have put in timers and drip systems and we have found a couple times there was a bad leak, and we realize this is a problem, but we have really been trying to address it,” Marich said.

Cox said the town monitors heavy usage. She said the water had been left on for a day and a half and that used a tremendous amount of water.

“36 hours it was on and then shut off, so a leak wasn’t the issue,” Cox said. “Having it on, days at a time is.”

“Probably the best way to address this, is once the garden reaches a certain amount of gallons, we hand the overage to the garden board,” Raymer said. “Then it can decide how it wants to divvy up the fees. 70,000 gallons is pretty big expense to the town.”

He said the base rate for the town is 7,000 gallons a month.

“Maybe the base for the garden isn’t 7,000 but 10,000,” Raymer said.

Steve Wilcoxson said he agreed with Raymer that a number had to be established. He also suggested that the garden try to grow plants that were more conducive to the topography and climate.

“This is high desert and there are communities that grow plants that are indigenous and, as an individual that is paying for the distribution of your water, the board should be looking at plants that use less water,” Wilcoxson said. “I also want to say I think the garden looks good, so I don’t want you to think I am against it, but the smarter the use of the water, the better for the town.”

Raymer suggested starting with 7,000 gallons and see if it would be enough and, if not, modify to a fair figure. He said since it was November, it would not make sense to come up with a number now. Raymer also said it would be more constructive to work with the new council and new mayor.

Glode said an MOU with the community garden board and the town would be a good idea, but it would unlikely happen before the new administration came into power.

Marich thanked the council for its input.

Richard Hodges said he was happy to see the tire piles at Hilltop tire were gone.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Hodges said. “But I am glad it happened.”

Raymer told the council that the Carbon County Council of Governments met on Nov. 14 and that, at the meeting, the municipalities had decided to reconvene on Nov. 28 with a new list of projects because the price to fund them was too high (see “CCCOG Gets Project Bids for Tax” on page 5 in the Nov. 21 Saratoga Sun).

The council approved Sarah Lincoln and Chia Valdez-Schwartz to the Town Recreation Board.

Raymer said Ladies’ Night Out sponsored by the Recreation Board was being coordinated by Lisa Burton. It will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Platte Valley Community Center.

The council approved the purchase of two spinning bikes for $3,200 from monies raised from a fundraiser meant specifically for this type of purchase.

The council approved the hiring of Kyle Murphy as a full time police officer. Police Chief Robert Bifano said the new officer is currently an officer in Ft. Collins, Colo.

Raymer said the airport took in $3,400 in landing fees from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12. He said there has been zero complaints about the fees.

“This is going to be a very good revenue generator of income for the airport,” Raymer said.

He said all the hangar inspections were done and all had passed. Leases will be sent out at the end of the month.

Wilcoxson went on the record to thank the airport board for getting the landing fees implemented.

Glode said South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services representative Cindy Talbot was resigning. The mayor said a new rep had to be found in the near future.

Mark Pesognelli, Nursing Home Administrator for the Saratoga Care Center, spoke about the health clinic.

“Up at the clinic now, we are still receiving people saying they are being told to come up for their appointment,” Pesonelli said. “So it seems the past doctor’s system is still active and generating robocalls. So if anybody receives a call, it is not from us.”

He said HMS is setting up the software that will basically do the same thing, but wanted to make sure the public understood the current calls were not the clinic. He said the new phone number for the clinic was 307-326-3169. The fax number is 307-326-3259.

He said complaints about patients not getting records should be referred to and click on “file a complaint.”

“You will have to have this particular complaint form notarized and Jennifer Jenkins up at the nursing facility can notarize documents and you can download these forms and submit them directly to the board,” Pesognelli said. “The board of medicine said this is the only way they can proceed forward.”

He said, so far, HMS has not received any transferred records.

Wilcoxson said the nursing home was doing an excellent job. He wanted to compliment the staff.

Faust said a registered letter had been sent to the previous doctor about missing equipment, giving him seven days to reply, and there was no answer. Faust added the missing inventory had been confirmed to be owned by the clinic by former Dr. Dean Bartholomew .

Faust said the letter had been received and signed for on Nov. 13.

“At this time, I would recommend we hand this over to our chief of police since it has been seven days and no contact from him,” Faust said.

The council approved the motion to give it over to Bifano.

Faust said a group had been formed named the Platte Valley Sustainability Board (PVSB) to assist the Corbett Foundation (see “Moving Forward Despite Risks” on page 1 of Nov. 14 Saratoga Sun).

Faust said the next meeting of PVSB would meet at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 12.

He said he hopes the meeting will answer any questions the public has.

“I would encourage everyone to come to this meeting if they have any questions on HMS,” Faust said.

The council approved the first reading of Ordinance no. 848 which is amending sections 18,58.010, 18.58.020, 18.58040, 18.58.060, 18.58.070, 18.33.020 of the town of Saratoga municipal code regulating recreational vehicle parks within the town of Saratoga and to provide an effective date.

A variance for Kerry Russell/Herb Porter to put up a garage was approved. The second variance was approved for a shed for Bob Keel.

The next scheduled town council will be at 6 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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