“Local Governments Look Back, Discuss Goals at Chamber Lunch”
Local governments look back, discuss goals at Chamber lunch.
By Hannah Wiest, The Sheridan Press, April 10, 2014. Reprinted with permission.
The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon Wednesday at the Holiday Inn featured updates on local governments by representatives from Clearmont, Dayton, Ranchester, Sheridan and Sheridan County.
Each representative brought unique jokes and concerns to their presentations, but the overarching theme was maintenance of infrastructure and hopes for growth as the economy beings to recover, albeit slowly.
Town Clerk Janeat Riesland said Clearmont continues work on GIS mapping of the town, as well as street repairs, water line maintenance and upgrades to the Town Hall utilizing the town’s share of the one-cent Capital Facilities Tax.
Riesland also noted that the Clearmont Woman’s Club will showcase 94 years of activities at the Clearmont library in a new exhibit to open soon.
Mayor Bob Wood said the highlight of the year for Dayton – and Ranchester – was the formation of the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board and efforts to bring a natural gas pipeline to the valley to reduce heating costs for residents.
Wood also said he was proud of the town’s use of Capital Facilities Tax funds for infrastructure maintenance. A rotomill and overlay project on South Fork Street will utilize the town’s first share of the tax, and it will wait for its next share to begin another project.
Town Councilman Peter Clark said Ranchester is looking forward to beginning work on its new elementary school, as well as a new housing subdivision, southwest of town this fall. The town annexed 37 acres last year for the school and new subdivision.
Clark also mentioned a $900,000 project across from the Ranchester Information Center that will feature commercial spaces for business growth and a covered, outdoors space for farmer’s markets and other events. The project was funded with a state grant.
Mayor Dave Kinskey focused on the city’s desire to continue to diversify its economy outside of its big three: agriculture, energy and tourism. He highlighted companies like EMIT Technologies and Vacutech that have brought light manufacturing and machine tool jobs to the area.
Kinskey said the city is working to attract similar industries by establishing redundant power north of town for the High Tech Business Park. He also mentioned his own business venture as a partner in the newly formed Rocky Mountain Fiber to lay a fiber optic superhighway between Billings, Mont., and Denver, Colo., and put Wyoming on the map.
Kinskey said the City Council, at its next meeting, hopes to vote on reducing the fee for construction debris at the landfill from $45 per ton to $0 in order to foster development.
Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Terry Cram said the county was glad to see increases in property and sales and use taxes, 2.5 percent and 11 percent, respectively, for the year. He highlighted the completion of the county’s new storage building on the corner of Coffeen Avenue and Gladstone Street – a place the voting machines can be stored at a safe, consistent temperature – as well as updates at the fairgrounds, work on creating fire breaks in Story and the creation of the first conservation subdivision in Wyoming this year in Dayton.
Cram announced that the county’s elected officials unanimously voted to not give pay raises to elected officials for the next four years.
He also said the county has money in its budget that can be used for grant matches that it would like to give to the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board for use for legal and other administrative fees. He said the county will match the $6,000 already raised by the board and will increase to a $10,00 match if the natural gas board can raise even more funds.
Posted in the following categories: About Sheridan County, Economic & Business Development