Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Town Council discusses budget, rates and new businesses

 


Monday night’s town council meeting opened with the third and final reading of 2020-01 the budget for fiscal year 2021. As many residents already knew there is a shortage of funds for many of the towns summer activities, and while the frustration is well known and well felt, as with many of our own home budgets, when there isn’t any money, there just isn’t any money. There were two changes made to the budget, first a cost increase for the monthly command center fees that help keep smart meters up and running, and the second change to the budget was to include an anticipated electric increase. The good news at this time is that the projected increase will have no effect on customer rates. After the discussion and reading, 2020-01 was passed unanimously.

Kim Patterson was on hand again to answer the slew of questions that come from the live broadcast, and was quick to assure residents that their concerns over the streets of Pine were not only being heard, they were being addressed. According to Patterson, there has been over 400,000 dollars spent on the streets in the last two years with more repairs to come. “As far as just general maintenance, potholes and such, we have the funds within the budget to take care of that” stated Mayor Alan Curtis. Chief Chance Walkama was available as well to discuss Resolution 2020-07 which, in accordance with the Wyoming Supreme Court, sets appropriate bonds to be used by the state. The new resolution was voted on and passed unanimously.

The newest member of the Pine Bluffs business community, Grubby’z, applied for their liquor license in the meeting this evening and will have their decision at a public hearing in two weeks. Councilman Donn Randall reported on the senior center meeting that was held on Tuesday. As of now the center is still closed and delivering meals to members. Randall also reports that the landfill is looking for another full-time employee hopefully to be filled soon. The Trail Days committee will have a meeting on the tenth of this month, but so far it looks to be a go. While there will be some residents with concerns about the gatherings, Randall feels like the committee should be able to address those concerns as they come up. A final decision might be made on the tenth, so when that information is made available, the Post will be sure to pass it on here.

Councilman Randall opened up the discussion for the rest of the members and Councilman Mohren pointed out that there were some concerns over the senior population, and how they are more at risk to get sick in a crowded situation if there happens to be asymptomatic residents or visitors in town. While the park might be crowded, Randall was quick to share that, to abide by social distancing rules, the melodrama will not be held in the little theater this year, but in the larger gym. Mayor Curtis pointed out that there most likely will not be a barbeque in the park this year either.

Councilwoman Janna Kestner reports that the timer on the basketball court lights has been broken and will need to be addressed. Although new expenses are not needed right now, it is a matter that will need to be taken care of. Despite the urgings of the town and this paper, Kestner reports that the census response is still only at twenty percent of residents. It cannot be stressed enough how important these responses are to the services that this town will be able to offer in the future. For those that are upset about current budget cuts and possible losses, those losses will be compounded by the loss of federal funds for services here if we cannot get our numbers up. Many residents will have noticed that census packets have been delivered around town, and the website and phone lines are all operational. Please take five minutes out of your day to respond to the census. For those that are uncomfortable with the demographic questions asked please be aware that some of those questions have an “opt out” option.

The next council meeting will be held on June 15th at 7:00 p.m. Please plan to attend whether it be virtually or in person. The council is unable to read your minds and is extremely interested in your thoughts.

 

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