by nathan oster
Like the Greybull Recreation District, the Greybull Town Council has identified as a top priority the installation of a new heating and air conditioning system for the Herb Asp Community Center.
Now the only question is, will it be done in time for the Aug. 17 Hands Across the Saddle benefit?
At their meeting Monday night, the council agreed to seek bids for the new HVAC system. A special meeting has been set for 6 p.m. Monday, July 22, at which time the council hopes to open bids and award the contract to the top bidder.
With no air conditioning at the present time, users of the Community Hall suffer during the hottest summer months.
“To make it more usable, we have to do it,” said Councilman Clay Collingwood.
The town has earmarked money in its FY 2014 budget for Community Hall improvements.
The recreation district also has money available for the project, according to Mayor Bob Graham.
“Last year we went to WAM and asked for a 0 percent interest loan for (the heating and air conditioning upgrades) but were asked by the recreation district to stop what we were doing until they finished their assessment of how they wanted to improve the building,” said Graham.
The council will seek bids on Option 4 of their proposal from a year ago, which calls for four 90,000 BTU Lennox furnaces and four four-ton heat pumps.
“We’d like to get some bids and see if we can get it in there before HATS,” said Graham, before the council approved a motion to do so.
In other business Monday night:
• Administrator Paul Thur said that the town had submitted an application for a Historic Architecture Assistant Fund grant for a free assessment of the current Town Hall facility. The study would look at ADA accessibility issues, plus countless other associated with the building.
“Their initial reaction was, ‘Boy there’s a lot of stuff you’re requesting with this assessment,’” said Thur. “We may need to pick and choose (what we can get).”
• Referencing the final numbers for the fiscal year that ended June 30, Councilman Ross Jorgensen noted that the town “cut it close” in the line item for administration. Kathy Smith, the town clerk, said legal fees and professional services were to blame, adding that she hopes this year will be better.
• The council agreed to pay approximately $8,000 to fix the hydraulics on the town’s old blue sanitation truck. By spending the money, the truck will be suitable for use as a backup garbage truck.
• Councilman Clay Collingwood said there was talk at the recent economic development committee about developing a park/picnic area along the dike and near the bridge, in the general vicinity of the conservation district’s outdoor classroom.
• Police Chief Bill Brenner reported that the town’s fifth officer, Sean Alquist, graduates from the police academy on Friday, July 12. With his return to duty, the GPD will be back at its approved staffing level of five full-time officers.
• The council approved a catering permit for Lisa’s restaurant, which will be providing the food and drink for the Hands Across the Saddle (HATS) fundraiser set for Aug. 17 at the Herb Asp Community Center.
• The council deactivated the water tap for the property at 532 Third Ave. S., which has been tied up in probate proceedings. Ben Williams is taking care of the property, which belonged to the late Shirley Stockwell, but he was not in attendance to contest the deactivation when the agenda item came up Monday night.
Because $1,312 is still owed on the tap, the council also agreed to place a lien on the property in an attempt to recover those costs when the house is eventually sold. Whoever purchases the home will need to pay the $1,500 fee to re-activate the tap.
• A water tap request submitted by Vast Manufacturing was approved by the council.
Vast is putting up a new building along Greybull River Road, just outside of town limits.
The application was signed by Roman and John Kinane, who asked that they be able to tap into the line that runs between the storage tank and town limits.
The company has refused interview requests by the newspaper. Mayor Bob Graham said Vast has been secretive with the town, as well. They are building on a site that borders the west edge of the town’s industrial park.
Vast did make one amendment to the water tap application, saying they were dead set against ever being annexed into the town. “Due to the type of manufacturing they are in, they have a request from their insurance company that they cannot have development around their facility,” said Mayor Bob Graham. “So they’ve asked that they not have to comply with that part (with respect to annexation).
The council agreed to allow the modification. “I don’t have a problem with it,” said Town Attorney Scott McColloch, when asked for his legal opinion. “They are simply saying they cannot have a facility if it’s annexed into the town.”
• Jim McLauchlan, owner of Dirty Annie’s, approached the council on behalf of the Iowa State University geology camp to discuss a change in the point of diversion of Shell Creek, but was told that the discussion was premature because the matter would first need to be taken up by the state engineer’s office.
Council members stated, however, that they would be inclined to support the request.
• Mayor Bob Graham put out a call for someone in the community to take the lead in efforts to develop an outdoor swimming pool.
He said he spoke with two different pool manufacturers at the recent Wyoming Association of Municipalities gathering and has also obtained information from Wyoming State Parks, Historical Sites and Trails about some matching grant programs.
Graham said a “splash pad” has emerged as one potential solution.
Councilors Myles Foley and Clay Collingwood, who were most recently engaged in talks to convert the existing pool into an outdoor facility, agreed that they would lead the effort on the outdoor pool.
• The council agreed to apply for a feasibility study through the Wyoming Water Development Commission relating to the incorporation of the Airport Bench water tank into the town’s water system.
The feasibility study will look at the full scope of the town’s current water distribution system.
Mayor Graham said, “Our 1 million gallon storage tank is getting some age on it,” he said. “We’ve tried to do repairs on it. We’ve tried to clean it. But at some point in time, that tank just may need to be replaced.”
Graham said he believes the Airport Bench water tank holds about 610,000 gallons — and that the feasibility study would evaluate whether that in itself would be sufficient for the town’s needs. “Would we need the full 1 million gallons? Or could we get by with 500,000 or 750,000? Those are all questions that would be answered.”
The feasibility study would cost the town $500. Big Horn County would match that total, bringing the total cost to $1,000.
• The town is planning to auction some of its obsolete/excess equipment. The council agreed on Monday night to hire an auctioneer. Mayor Graham said most of the items are either “worn out or can no longer be used due to changes in regulations. “Some of the stuff’s been there since I was with the town (in the 1980s and ‘90s),” he said.
• The council agreed to begin hanging banners on the decorative lightpoles that line Sixth Street and Greybull Avenue. While they face no obstacles on the section of Greybull Avenue between the stoplight and the planter, since that part of the street is owned by the town, they must get approval from the Wyoming Department of Transportation for the other banners.
The town doesn’t want to have to trim the banners, but state regulations require a 7-foot clearance, which would come into play on the section of Greybull Avenue between the stoplight and the bridge, where there are 13 lightpoles. There is a way around it on Sixth Street. The banners could be hung on the backside of the lightpoles. To do that, however, the town would need to get a waiver of permission from each of the property owners who would be impacted.
Mayor Graham said the town has asked for a waiver from WYDOT and that he’d get in touch with Shelby Carlson, the district engineer, by the end of this week, if he hasn’t heard from her prior to that time, to see where that request stands.
• Cor Bijvank, owner of the Greybull KOA, approached the council at the end of the evening to discuss a letter he’d received from the town about his use of Dumpsters off the site of his KOA property, but was told that the matter could not be discussed because it was not on the agenda. It will be taken up at the next regular meeting.