By Sarah Pridgeon
Requests were heard from several community members at this month’s regular meeting of the Sundance City Council, including for variances, zone changes and to deal with an unfriendly pack of dogs.
Mayor Paul Brooks began the meeting by announcing September 8’s meeting of the NE Wyoming Municipal Leaders at Etta’s. He told the council he planned to give attendees a tour of the city to show them how much $150,000, which bigger towns consider “chump change,” can actually be used to achieve.
Following an update from city engineers Trihydro, Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lenz confirmed that the city has received the deed for the land under the swimming pool and had also been awarded a $50,000 from a grant, which will be used to install manholes. A motion was passed to put the project out for bid.
Joe Bunnell from Northern Hills Recycling addressed the council, announcing that 7.5 tons of material was recycled during Rally Week alone and that this had been the first time that the trucks had needed to return for a second load. He told the council he will do National Recycle Day again in November and is planning new guides for customers to show what can and can’t be recycled.
Kat Kinsall returned to request that her variance be granted, allowing her to sell off portions of her land to her siblings. A motion was passed to grant the variance.
Mary Altick informed the council that the recycling team has been unable to retrieve her recycling bins because they are afraid of the dogs. She explained her view that she should not have to pay for a service she is not receiving, particularly as the dogs do not belong to her.
Bunnell confirmed that the dogs charge the trucks and explained the team is trying to collect her recycling, but has not found a solution. In response to Council Member Ken Denzin’s query as to whether she could take the bins down past the dogs, Altick explained that they tear the bins apart if she leaves them out.
“The charge for recycling is not my issue, it’s the dogs,” commented Altick, going on to observe that the owners had also defied a police request to keep the dogs locked up.
City Attorney Mark Hughes invited Altick to meet with himself and County Attorney Joe Baron, whose input is necessary because she lives outside city boundaries, to find a solution to the problem. Mayor Brooks promised to take the matter up at next month’s meeting if it had not been resolved in the interim.
Fire Warden Gari Gill was then granted a variance on a setback to allow construction next to the existing Emergency Management building.
In response to a letter from the Land Use Commission, following a special meeting in August, a motion was passed to change the zoning from medium density residential to industrial where the Croell Redi-Mix headquarters is to be built. Mayor Brooks explained that this is one of the hoops that must be jumped through in order to obtain support from Wyoming Business Council for the project and a motion was passed to set a date for a final public hearing on Tuesday, September 25 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Hughes interjected to inform the council that a contingency development report needs to be approved on this project, for administration of funds. He pointed out that overseeing construction will not involve liability for the city, but will involve a significant amount of administrative work, similar to that undertaken during construction of the daycare center.
Mayor Brooks confirmed that, because of this, city employees had been given the option to opt out of working on the project and stated that, in principle, the city had agreed to administer the grant when the project was first brought up. A motion to allow the mayor to sign the agreement was delayed on the request of Council Members Palmer and Sheryl Klocker, to allow them time to review it.
In departmental reports, Police Chief Todd Fritz reported 88 last calls last month and confirmed that both Rally Week and the Hells Angels run went well. He also told the council that a grant has been submitted for overtime reimbursement during that time and agreed to Council Member Denzin’s request to begin preparing paperwork for deer maintenance this year.
Public Works Director Larry Schommer reported 66 percent water accountability over the past month. He told the council of work the department completed last month to add drainage and a culvert on the canyon road and to pump the pool out and prepare it for winter.
Clerk Treasurer Lenz asked the council to approve new evaluations and job descriptions for city employees. The council was divided on whether to do so, because Council Members Denzin and Palmer wanted more time to review them, but Mayor Brooks’ deciding vote passed the motion.
City Attorney Hughes informed the council that a letter from an attorney had been received, announcing he would be representing the residents of the Orr Subdivision on the matter of placement of the Cole Water Storage Tank. He commented that Wyoming Water Division may be coming to Sundance to meet with them in the near future.
Council Member Denzin commented that a nuisance letter sent to a city property was “making strides” and requested that one be sent to a second property. In response to Hughes’ query as to whether the second property is a nuisance or just unsightly, he stated that abandoned vehicles are present.
Council Member Klocker also spoke about the nuisance letter, saying that material has been moved, but not taken away, and the nuisance remains. Hughes agreed to send a second letter to the property owners if progress is not being seen.
The next regular meeting of the city council will take place on October 2.
By Sarah Pridgeon