The Saratoga Sun -

Prepping for water

Saratoga Town Council discusses obtaining grants in dealing with possible flooding this year, town talks transwest windfall


February 13, 2019

The Saratoga Town Council met at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5 at the Saratoga Town Hall with all council members and mayor in attendance.

It was business as usual as the agenda and minutes for Jan. 15 were approved in the first few minutes. The financials, totaling $236,770.49, were approved.

Council member Jon Nelson gave an update of the Carbon County Council of Government (CCCOG) meeting held on Jan. 15.

Nelson said there was discussion about the TransWest Express project that was going before the Industrial Siting Council for impact funding. He said there was also discussion on the Special Purpose Tax. Nelson was appointed to be the voting delegate for the Special Purpose Tax.

The recreation department workshop was approved for 4 p.m. on March 5 at Saratoga Town Hall.

Council member Steve Wilcoxson said there were grants that could help the Platte River with its flooding as the council discussed the potential for flooding this year.

“This winter is looking like we might be dealing with flooding, so it could be a possible solution,” Wilcoxson said. He added that it could solve the problem of dredging.

Mayor John Zeiger said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be appreciative about having a solution to the flooding.

“They have been looking at us with raised eyebrows since they have been here three or four different times,” Zeiger said. “They are looking at communities being able to be more proactive.”

He said Joe Parsons, Saratoga, Encampment, Rawlins Conservation district, had applied for a flood grant and that once Parsons had heard back, the town could take it from there.

“No matter what, it is going to be a three or four year project,” Zeiger said.

Nelson said that there will be a special CCCOG meeting concerning the TransWest Express project and impact money. All impacted municipalities have to agree on the funds being released. Any municipality that thinks that they are not getting enough impact funds will put forth their case at the Industrial Siting Council. Saratoga looks to receive a projected $2,024,953.

The council approved the mayor to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the TransWest Express project.

The council approved the hiring of Brittany Willis for part-time police dispatcher and Dan Starr as a part-time police officer.

The council approved sending a resolution on businesses responsible for keeping sidewalks clear to the town attorney. The wording needs to be clarified.

The Recreation Board/Commission had director Lisa Burton ask if she could apply for grants that would help the pool and other recreation related matters. It was approved for her to try for the grants. She said the Missoula Children’s Theater will have auditions March 4 and the shows will be presented April 8-9. There will be a basketball skills clinic on March 11 that will lead into the Utah Jazz program that will start on March 18.

Jon Winter, Public Works Director, said a lot of the department had been taking care of snow removal, sanding and maintenance of streets.

Winter said 25 “no parking” signs to help keep Bridge Street clear for snow removal had been purchased and the next snow the signs would go on one side of the street instead of both sides.

The council approved $1,700 for four 150 pound cylinders for the lagoon. He said there would be no deposit of $350 required that usually is instituted with the purchase.

There were two water main breaks on River Street and had been repaired in a manner that had minimum interruption in service to residents.

Winter said the lagoon camera had been repaired and had not been as expensive to fix as had been anticipated.

A letter was sent on Jan. 18 to the United States Forest Service (USFS) for non compliance on their sewer and water project. A meeting was held on Feb. 5 with the USFS to discuss the matter. Nelson said the meeting had been to figure the best path forward. The work on the project will not continue until the weather improves. Nelson pointed out the annexation of the property had not been completed and that a MOU was to be established to get service.

Wilcoxson said he felt that the annexation should never have been attempted.

Winter said the next scheduled full cleaning of the hot pools is slated on Feb. 14.

Andy Van Tol is being reimbursed $200 for overpayment of his lease. The council approved the total.

The council approved the signing of leases that had been presented to the council some months before. The landing fees taken in Jan were $875.

Mark Pesognelli, director of Saratoga Care Center, told the council that the nursing home had been Veterans Administration (VA) certified. He said the VA was coming Feb 26 to the Platte Valley Care Center during the hours of 1 p.m.-6 p.m. He hoped veterans would take advantage of coming during this time.

Pesognelli said if records had not been attained, there is a form at the clinic to file a complaint to the state. He added there had been quite a few CD’s that contained records coming in broken. He also said a benefactor to the Corbett Medical Foundation had funded a telemedicine machine.

Randy Raymer had sent correspondence about dumpster stuffing at the Hobo Pool and Veterans Island. Raymer asked the town to try and come up with a solution to prevent the illegal dumping.

Wilcoxson said he felt much of the trash did come from citizens in town and that they paid landfill fees. He felt resources to police the dumpsters would be expensive. He said he would go to the Upper Platte River Solid Waste Disposal District meeting on Feb. 6 to give his thoughts. Council member Judy Welton said the council should invite Raymer to the next town council meeting to discuss options for the problem.

The council went into executive council and came out with no action taken.

The next Saratoga town council is at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 at the Saratoga Town Hall.


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