I wish to reply to Ellis Helmer’s letter concerning the toll free telephone area of Crook and Weston Counties. He states that R T Communications blind sided every phone owner in the two counties. This is not true. There were many people who requested this service over a period of years.
There was much information given to the public by the phone company before the plan was voted on. Everyone who had a phone was provided a ballot to vote for or against the plan. It was passed by a majority of the phone owners. In America, that is the way it works.
Mr. Helmer infers that the ranchers were the ones to pass this plan and the only ones to benefit from it. Ranchers are in the minority in Crook and Weston Counties. They were joined by the business people and many in the towns. It was a savings to the schools, medical districts, and the counties, all paid for by the tax payers.
Mr. Helmer complains about the amount of money R T receives in the monthly fee. How much more would they have received if we had made all those long distance calls?
We live in Crook County, but lately we have done business in Upton, Osage, and Newcastle as well as Moorcroft and Sundance. Most have called us in return.
If Mr. Helmer wants to get out of the “scheme” as he calls it, he could get a cell phone. I believe he owes every rancher in Crook and Weston County an apology for calling us “land hogs”. Maybe some ranchers voted against the plan, but we provide food for many, we pay taxes, and we don’t call others names when we don’t agree with then.
Letter to the Editor,
This is to update everyone (total of 447 in 8 days) who expressed their opinion about saving the Aladdin Coal Tipple, by signing the paper I placed around the county with the help of a few good folks distributing it and the newspapers publishing my letter. This number is amazing. I presented the papers (which I got back) to the Crook County Commissioners at their October Meeting. The Commissioners did give permission to a consulting firm to enter the tipple sight to conduct a study of the tipple and determine what is needed to stabilize it again. The Commissioners will probably want to turn the tipple over to some group or foundation to take responsibility, rather than have the county staff take care of it. They do have to request work to be done by the Abandoned Mine Land Program with no expense to the county. We await the report from the engineering consultants.
I have been in contact with the State Historic Preservation Office in Cheyenne. That office helped with the work 19 years ago and is strongly in support of the tipple and will help however they can as this proceeds. There had been a lot of work put into nominating the tipple for National Register of Historic Places back in 1989. I hope to get the nomination finished and submitted because it meets the criteria for listing. I have met with the Crook County Historical Society. They also support the project. I will keep you informed as things progress.