Letters to the Editor
I have several updates to provide. First, we are in the final stages of making an agreement with Western Waste Solutions to take over the recycling program. The council was pretty specific in their desire for the price not to rise and to have the same type of service. We are making a few small changes but the recycling program will be very similar to what we have now.
The transfer station is getting close to completion. Currently we are working the processes of operating it, the final grading, and the scale installation. When it is complete we will start to accept glass as part of our recycling, however because of safety, it will have to be handled separately. The Gillette City Council has agreed to let us have some of their used yard waste bins as they change them out and this will help us keep yard waste separate from municipal solid waste reducing the volume of what we transfer. If you participate in Free Dump Days, please use this year’s opportunity to clean deep because we are going to have to pay to haul garbage away after the transfer station is open. We do not have possession of the bins at this time and the final plan for rolling this out is not yet in place. We are continuing to work towards the best solution and implementation and will keep you informed as this takes shape.
We are starting the budget cycle for the upcoming year. We see a short fall of $72,000 dollars which is manageable because we have most of our short-term debt paid off. Short-term debt is defined by vehicles and machinery here in Sundance.
There are several large construction projects coming up and we are getting a lot of requests for our engineering and design standards. Currently, we do not have these so we procured a copy of Gillette’s and we have Tri-Hydro reviewing them so they will work for us.
The Public Works Department has been busy patching streets as time permits. They have been very busy in coming up with a solution for the recycling program and a process to run the transfer station. We also have former Mayor Miller looking at street repair and what is needed to support the increase traffic by the proposed new Elementary School. This winter was very hard on our streets.
By April 16, I will sign the notice to proceed on the 21st Street project and the Cole Water Storage Tank replacement. It will be nice to have them off the books because it is time to start planning for the next round of projects. If you recall, forty percent of the Governor’s budget is to be spent on infrastructure. We can leverage some of this money against Wyoming Water Development to complete some much needed water projects.
We met with representatives of the County and other towns in Moorcroft to move the sixth-cent tax forward. We have all defined our projects and are preparing resolutions to get them on the ballot for this year’s general election.
We are working with Bearlodge Engineering, the Wyoming Business Council and Croell Redi-Mix to use some of the remaining funds in the Croell grant to finish surfacing Fuller Road. We will never have a chance to complete the road less expensively.
We are in talks with the Wyoming Fish Game on behalf of the Sundance Rod and Gun Club about dredging Sundance Pond, adding additional walking path, and making a handicap- accessible fishing dock.
We have well #6 (the West Well) off line because it has bad bearings and some electrical faults in the wiring. We have an extra motor on hand so it should be an inexpensive fix.
We received seven bids for the Cole Tank reclamation and the lowest acceptable bid was $92,000. Now that we have the bids, we are evaluating our options.
I would like to report on the land swap with the fairgrounds but it is changing so fast I could not do it justice but rest assured that we are proceeding.
Paul Brooks, Mayor
Although I have never before written a letter to the editor, I feel compelled to write this as my wife, Ronette Kahler, is approaching retirement. I am the one “in the spotlight” and everyone knows what I do, but many people still ask me “what exactly does your wife do in the Crook County schools”?
During the last twenty-nine years, Ronette has been either solely or jointly responsible for starting many successful programs. They include the after-school study skills program, the Ropes course, the alternative secondary school Bear Lodge High School, and the ladder system. Ronette works in all the schools with more than 30 individual students district-wide.
The most important thing my wife does is help kids and their families. She has been accused of being a “kid advocate” as if it is a character flaw. In today’s increasingly complex society, I believe many of our students need someone in their corner. My wife has a unique gift which allows her to gain the trust of students so she can work with them to help improve their behavior, their class work, and their lives.
I can’t count how many times she has talked to students, at any time of the day or night, who need help. I know the students she currently works with will miss her dearly. So will the many teachers who have seen their classrooms improve through her interventions with students in need of extra help in order to be better functioning members of the class.
The best answer to the question “what does your wife do” is simply, she saves lives! Now you know!