Groundwork laid at council meeting

By Sarah Pridgeon

The Sundance City Council laid the groundwork for upcoming projects at this month’s regular meeting, including the final steps to completing the swimming pool and the first steps in constructing the transfer station.

Mayor Brooks opened the meeting by announcing that a public hearing will take place before the Land Use Planning Commission on August 20 at 5 p.m. for a proposed zoning change for the Croell Industrial Project. First discussed at last month’s meeting, the project proposes to build a new corporate headquarters utilizing a $1.5 million grant from the Wyoming Business Council, backed by the council as private enterprise is not eligible to apply, to add infrastructure.

City Attorney Mark Hughes announced that the school district now has the deed to transfer ownership of the land on which the swimming pool sits to the city and are prepared to sign it at their upcoming monthly meeting. Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lenz confirmed that the deed is for the entire 2.5 acre plot, which will allow the city to look at installing a manhole to prevent water getting under the pool’s lining and extending the sidewalk path.

Lenz also announced that the pool, which was budgeted to make a profit of $3000 for the city this year, has actually brought in over $10,000, with only $1600 in expenses. This, explained Public Works Director Larry Schommer, is partly because the weather has been so hot that the heater has not been needed: the solar blankets have been enough to maintain the temperature.

A change order was approved for the transfer station in the amount of $7900 to address adding a drain to the floor and other structural changes.

Kat Kinsall approached the council for permission to sell the northern third portion of each of three lots she owns at the end of South 3rd Street to her three siblings. When asked by Council Member Ken Denzin whether she had gone through the Land Use planning commission, so as to follow the subdivision ordinance, she explained she had already been to them and had been recommended to bring the question to the council.

Mayor Brooks told the council that Land Use had not recommended it and Bonnie Beaudoin, in the audience, confirmed that this was because it would create “a subdivision within a subdivision.”

Mark Hughes suggested that Kinsall go back and ask for a variance, which Land Use will then recommend for the council to accept or reject. “That way we’re following the rules to the letter,” commented Brooks.

Lenz then announced that a state engineer has offered to re-engineer the pond at Washington Memorial Park at no expense to the city. “We just need an emergency action plan for what would happen if the pond failed, it would open a lot of doors for plans with the pond,” she said.

These plans, explained Schommer, include installing handicapped access at the fishing pier, restocking the fish and using the dredged soil to cap the landfill when it closes. A motion was passed approving the mayor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.

Crook County Medical Services District Ambulance Director, Ken Maston, approached the council to report mechanical issues with one of the ambulances leased from the city. He presented three options for the council to consider, including replacing the engine or tearing it open to find the faulty component, and Mayor Brooks asked him to start looking “down the road” for a replacement ambulance, but said “this is the time of year we’d best fix the ambulance.”

The council moved to take the ambulance to somebody local for a repair estimate and asked Maston to come back at the special meeting to be held on August 14 for a decision.

Sundance resident Ben Neiman then approached the council, describing the problem he is experiencing with drainage. As his home is located behind the fire hall, and sits at the lowest point, all the water during heavy rain, he said, ends up in his yard. He asked if a drainage ditch could be installed to remedy the problem.

Mayor Brooks commented that this “undoubtedly needs to be done,” but that base elevations on the entire block would be “pretty expensive.” Klocker added that a similar situation had arisen with a resident “a while back” and there may be repercussions for the city helping now, when it had not helped then.

“At some point, we’re going to have to do something about water,” said Brooks. “And you won’t be able to do it all at once,” added Schommer.

The council decided that it would cost nothing to find out how much is would cost to do base elevations and asked city engineers Trihydro to figure an estimate for next month’s meeting.

In departmental reports, Schommer announced that water was at 95 percent accountability over the last month, which may partly be due to the high usage at 12 million gallons.

Lenz asked the council to approve a work order for $3000 for Trihydro to begin an engineering design on the sewer, and also to approve a work order for pre-application site investigation for the landfill. The latter, she explained, is necessary to show movement on the transfer station, as the Legislature are threatening to take back the $30 million they allocated for landfill if it doesn’t get spent.

After the council retired into executive session to discuss the potential litigation from residents of the Orr Subdivision over placement of the Cole Water Storage Tank, Denzin told his fellow council members that he has been keeping an eye on the trucks on Government Valley Road to follow up after last month’s decision to allow them to use the road.

The next regular meeting of the city council will take place on September 4.