PINEDALE – A quorum of three Pinedale Town Councilmembers took the next steps to capture COVID-19 relief money and other grants to begin preliminary studies on proposed infrastructure projects at the Aug. 8 town meeting.
The council approved an application to pursue federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars distributed through the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) to fund a permanent repair for the Orcutt seep and install a storm water collection system on Tyler Avenue.
Later in the meeting, the council approved a resolution of funds for the town’s matching contribution if the ARPA-SLIB grant is accepted.
Pending the grant’s approval, the town will be responsible for funding 16 percent of the project, said Abram Pearce, director of public works. The total amount requested in the grant is approximately $4.5 million, town documents indicate, with ARPA dollars distributed through SLIB paying for roughly $3.8 million, leaving the town responsible for the remaining $724,000.
The council moved forward with the Transportation Master Plan, accepting a bid from Jorgensen Associates to lead a team of engineers in an analysis of traffic issues including speeds, safe pedestrian crossings and sight distances and to identify solutions, Pearce explained.
The Transportation Master Plan is a partnership between the town, Sublette County, the Sublette County Hospital District, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and the Sublette County School District No. 1, Pearce said.
Engineers will examine how traffic works in Pinedale and use the “best information” available to create a plan to boost service for traffic across town and on Pine Street as the community grows over the next 20 years, according to Pearce.
The agreement between the town and Jorgensen for the Traffic Master Plan is not to exceed $249,888. A grant from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will pay for $50,000 of the fees, Pearce said.
Councilmembers also approved a professional services agreement to hire Jorgensen as a consultant on the Highway 191-Pine Street pedestrian safety project.
Engineers will conduct a survey of Pine Street to identify areas that are not in compliance with state or federal codes and design shovel-ready projects to fix compliance issues and improve pedestrian safety, Pearce told the Roundup.
The contract with Jorgensen totals approximately $200,000, with a federal Transportation Alternatives grant administered by WYDOT funding 80 percent of the costs.
On Aug. 29, the town is hosting a special meeting to kick off the Transportation Master Plan and provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project. Final details and a time for the meeting will be announced at a later point.
In a show of support for the historic groundbreaking ceremony for Sublette County Health’s new critical access hospital and long-term care facility, the council voted to waive town code and allow food trucks to participate in the Aug. 25 celebration.
“This is an exceptional event,” Mayor Matt Murdock said of the town’s decision. “It took a long time to get here.”