The Saratoga Sun -

New council takes over

New Saratoga mayor and council sworn in. New attorney, police chief appointed


January 9, 2019

Mike Armstrong

From left, outgoing mayor Ed Glode swears in mayor John Zeiger, councilman Jon Nelson and councilman Bob Keel.

The Saratoga Town Council met a little after 6 p.m. on Jan. 2 at the Saratoga Town Hall. Mayor Ed Glode, council members Steve Wilcoxson and Richard Raymer were in attendance. Council member Will Faust was absent.

The agenda and minutes from Dec. 18 were quickly approved as well as the financials which totaled $121,778.38.

After approving the financials, Glode gave the oath of office to the new mayor, John Zeiger, and new council members, Bob Keel and Jon Nelson. When the swearing in ceremony was over, Glode and Raymer stepped down from the council table and Zieger, Keel and Nelson joined Wilcoxson, who was remaining from the previous council.

The first order of business by the new council was to approve Rawlins National Bank, Bank of Commerce and Bank of the West as the town's designated depositories. Next the Saratoga Sun and Rawlins Times were designated as official newspapers for the town. The law firm of MacPherson and Thompson were appointed legal counsel for the town.

Suzie Cox, Saratoga Town Clerk, swore in Tom Thompson for the appointment.

Resolution No. 2019-1 was approved next, which allows financial assistance from Wyoming Department of Transportation for communities with populations between 1,500 to 5,000. This was passed by the 56th Wyoming State Legislature in 2001 under House Bill 14 that adds the following, "Not withstanding any other provision of law, the Transportation Commission may contribute financial assistance to any city or town with a population between 1,500 and 5,000 that is performing its duties under this paragraph in a total amount not to exceed $20 dollars per capita annually to the city or town; and whereas the Commission recognized the inequity of state support and/or federal funding for those communities between 1,500 and 5,000 prior to the passage of House Bill 14 and acknowledges the legislation was passed to correct those inequities."

Those monies will come in two equal payments one on July 1 of this year and the other Jan. 1, 2020.

Resolution 2019-2, which is the proposition for imposition of a 1 percent specific purpose sales and use excise tax in Carbon County, was approved. The proposition is to be placed on the ballot at an election to be held on May 7.

When both resolutions were approved, the council went into executive session for 40 minutes.

The council came out and Zeiger began making appointments.

Cox was appointed and approved as town clerk.

Sammy Flohr was appointed and approved as town treasurer.

Dan Massey was approved for municipal judge.

"I am going to make some changes in the police department," Zeiger said. "There has not been an appointed police chief for over three years and at this time I would like to make the appointment of Ken Lehr to the position of chief of police."

The appointment was approved by the council.

Nelson made a motion to keep Robert Bifano in the police department as a police officer. That motion was approved.

Wilcoxson thanked Bifano for his service as acting police chief under council comments.

Lehr was not present to be sworn in, but Zeiger swore in Cox and Flohr.

Lisa Burton, recreation director, said martial arts classes had a new schedule and that dance and gymnastic classes were being added. She said an instructor was coming from Rawlins. Burton said she believed that the next meeting was Jan. 14.

Jon Winter, public works director, said the town had received 26.6 tons of ice melt. He said snow removal and sanding sidewalks had been done as needed. Winter added that a small amount of rota mill for the United States Forest Service (USFS) sewer line patch on S. Veteran Street was delivered. The USFS sewer lines were 75 percent complete. Water lines have not been started. Winter said the sewer camera had to be sent for repairs.

Nelson said sewer cameras can be difficult to keep functioning due to the nature of the job it does. The camera has no head rotation currently. It was bought in 2015.

Under correspondence Richard Raymer had sent a letter of interest to join the Saratoga Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board.

Nelson reported the Verizon cellular service tower was now fully operational.

Mike Armstrong

The new council take their positions.

The council approved Nelson to be the representative to the airport board. Raymer was appointed to Water and Sewer Joint Powers Board. Keel was approved to be the representative to planning commission. Wilcoxson was approved to be the representative to the recreation commission.

Zeiger said he would like the Saratoga representative to the South Central Emergency Board to attend the next town council meeting.

Health Management Services representative Mark Pesognelli then updated the council on the medical meeting to be held Jan. 16 (See "Asking and answering" on page 1 of the Dec. 19 Saratoga Sun)

Zeiger noted there should be an advertisement asking for letters of interest in the empty council seat that was for two years.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

The next scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Jan.15 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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