Sublette Examiner | Current projects start the year of the curators

SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Sublette County Council of Commissioners welcomed the New Year with its first meeting of 2022 on Tuesday morning, January 4. While planning this year’s vacation and schedules were among the first steps to take, the majority of the meeting was spent on business in the New Year.

Todd Hurd of Forsgren Associates braved deteriorating road conditions to brief Commissioners on the county’s various ongoing projects.

After asking the state fire marshal to occupy the Daniel fire station, obtaining initial approval and then denial, construction of the station remains at a standstill. The county is still waiting for the water pumps to arrive. This wait could potentially cost the county dear. Hurd said he stood firm on the grounds that waiting for the water pumps, which would replace the original ill-fitting assembly the county had delivered, was not the county’s financial burden.

“We’re still fighting, but it’s worth it,” said Hurd.

Commissioner Doug Vickrey asked why three-phase electronics had been implemented in the building even after Rocky Mountain Power officials confirmed they did not have three-phase capabilities at Daniel. Hurd said he wanted this question answered as well, but said they have been working with converters and alternatives to find a solution.

The major problem, however, remains the occupancy rate. State officials would not allow Unified Fire or Sublette County Roads and Bridges personnel into the building as it is now. This includes the part of the building reserved for the road and the bridge.

Vickrey spoke of the financial difficulties of the situation. The building – a huge project for the county that will likely cost nearly $ 4 million on its current trajectory – is currently not fit to house people.

Commission President Joel Bousman and Commissioner Tom Noble both said a water pump for the building could be found and ordered online to avoid further delays in the project. Hurd said he would find a solution.

Hurd said he received quotes to remove the cups at the Sublette County Fairgrounds. Because a quote received for the exterior work alone was more than the quote from the other company working both interior and exterior, the commissioners agreed on which one they preferred to pursue.

Then came some of the complications. Since the removal of the domes would also include the removal and lowering of the sprinkler system on the fairgrounds, the state fire marshal should be consulted. This could potentially mean that the building would be considered “non-occupant” and would not allow people to enter during construction. As construction is scheduled for the summer months, an alternative has been explored. The Commissioners were open to pursuing these alternatives.

In the end, the commissioners agreed to continue Premiere’s offer of $ 66,730 to work both inside and outside the building pending clarification and approval that any work performed by Premiere would not void any manufacturer’s warranty.

Hurd said construction on the Big Piney Library was progressing after an extended hiatus. He said the second floor of the building was being framed as of the January 4 update.

County administrator Matt Gaffney asked about the farms in the Rendezvous Pointe building that burned down in a fire last year. Hurd said it continued as crews got the wrong measurements first. They will not replace the roof itself and instead merge the working trusses together.

Reaffirm support

Gaffney has asked the Council of Commissioners to reiterate its letter of support for the Sublette County Hospital District. Twice previously, the county has voted in favor of committing $ 20 million of the $ 52 million for the construction of a critical access hospital.

Gaffney said the letter was “short and sweet,” simply reiterating the county’s support as the final stages of a USDA loan decision approached.

Vickrey said he wanted to make sure the county’s commitment of up to $ 20 million goes to the long-term care facility. He has already made this comment and the wording was included in a previous letter to respond to his request. Commissioner Noble said he believed the letter reflected Vickrey’s request. Vickrey also said USDA loan officer Lorraine Werner assured him that the county’s money could be monitored and applied only to certain allowances.

County clerk Carrie Long said the treasurer’s office is well aware of the county’s financial intentions regarding the construction of the critical access hospital. Several parties are also monitoring county engagement to ensure the county is getting the greatest return on investment from its engagement.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the signing of the letter of support.

Tonia Hoffman, president of the Sublette County Hospital District, thanked the board for their continued support.

“I think we’ll be successful in this business eventually,” she said with a laugh.

Hoffman also said they are awaiting final approval from the USDA and then have the Sublette Center officially become part of the Sublette County Hospital District in the eyes of the federal government.

Road and bridge

Commissioners heard a request from Frank Sansone regarding his home at 627 Ryegrass Rd. For the county to plow an unmaintained county road. Bousman said he was concerned this could open a box of worms that would lead to plowing and construction on unmaintained roads throughout the county.

This has led to discussions about the new County Roads Index, which needs to be updated, Rich Greenwood said.

There was a plethora of possibilities discussed, but the commissioners agreed to update his current county road index and give Greenwood additional information so he could update the GIS system. This would help residents find easements and county properties through the county website. More detailed cartographic possibilities, showing much more information, were discussed but were not studied at the time in order to update the current maps. It was said that the current maps available were last updated in 2017.

Other elements:

  • Commissioners approved the vacation of the second lot of Stepp’s minor subdivision, the Crossfire Arena, following a unanimous vote by the County Planning and Zoning Board.
  • Planning and Zoning Administrator Dennis Fornstrom said all zoning will remain in place. Commissioner Noble then raised his question that the driveway to Bomgaars was zoned agricultural and not commercial. He said he would like that to change.
  • Fornstrom also presented building permits for 2021. He said most of the activity came from the Bondurant and Hoback Ranches area, as some were reconstruction efforts related to the Roosevelt fire and others were new constructions.
  • The commissioners re-appointed Kevin Hughes to the fair’s board of directors for another five-year term. Eddie Delgado and Tami Crosson have both been appointed to the county board of directors. Dave Vlcek and Dawn Ballou have both been reappointed to the Historic Preservation Board. There were no candidates to fill the position on the county agricultural center board of directors.
  • Commissioners approved a sick leave donation inside the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office following an executive session.

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