The Saratoga Sun -

Saratoga Museum tax district passes first hurdle

With 668 signatures and more than $16 million in real property value on petition, district moves forward to public hearing


April 15, 2020

The Saratoga Museum and Historical Association (Saratoga Museum) has acquired enough signatures to follow through with their pursuit of a special tax district. As was reported previously (see “Saratoga Museum pursuing tax district” on page 2 of the February 26 Saratoga Sun), announced their intention to both the Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC) and the Town of Saratoga at their February 18 meetings.

During the April 7 meeting of the BOCCC, Carbon County Clerk Gywnn Bartlett provided the commissioners with an update on the Saratoga-Ryan Park Museum District.

“They needed 652, they got 668. So, it was very close. Of those, they needed, at least, just over $10 million in value for the real property and they got over $16 million. So they met that pretty easily,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett informed the commissioners that she had officially filed the petition for formation on March 24 and that the next step would be to hold a public hearing within 45 to 90 days of that date. During that public hearing, the BOCCC would take any public comment and then there would be a 30 day protest period.

“I would suggest the hearing be May 19 and then the protest period would end June 19. After that, you would have a final approval at your July 7 meeting and that’s where you would direct me to put the matter on the November ballot, assuming that you opt to move forward. During this process, you could change the name, you could review the boundaries and potentially change those,” Bartlett said.

The current boundaries put forth by the Saratoga Museum for the Saratoga-Ryan Park Museum District follow the election precinct boundaries of Saratoga 11-1, Saratoga Outside 11-2 and Saratoga Outside 11-2-1.

Bartlett recommended that the BOCCC accept the petition for formation of the proposed district and schedule a public hearing.

“Before you schedule that public hearing, though, we were tentatively going to do it at 3 p.m. on May 19 assuming we’re meeting in Medicine Bow but if we don’t meet in Medicine Bow because maybe this COVID-19 thing is continuing and we meet here in Rawlins, then I would suggest 10:45 in the morning,” said Bartlett.

Commissioner John Espy told Chairman John Johnson that he wasn’t positive that the current restrictions put forth by the State of Wyoming would be rescinded by May 19. Espy then asked how the advertising for the public hearing would be worded based on uncertainty surrounding the length of the current public health orders.

Following discussion, Bartlett requested permission from the BOCCC to come up with the date and time for the public hearing and the wording for advertisement. The commissioners unanimously voted to grant Bartlett the permission.

The next meeting of the Board of Carbon County Commissioners will be at 9 a.m. on April 21 at the Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins.


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