Despite aging bridges
that could leave residents high and stranded,
Sublette County Commissioners didn’t
commit funds to help an improvement
Residents in the Redstone Upper Green
River Improvement District requested
help from the county to replace two aging
bridges during the Aug. 21 Sublette County
Commissioners’ meeting. The bridges
provide access to the property owners in
their area and also to the Bridger-Teton
All five commissioners David Burnett,
Joel Bousman, Tom Noble, Mack
Rawhouser and Doug Vickrey attended
and elected commissioner Sam White also
attended in the audience.
One bridge is made out of a large 120-
foot span of timbers; a second shorter bridge
is also made of timbers and both need
repairs and are losing supports.
Even replacing the planking is a problem,
sending the district out of state in search
of timbers long enough and big enough to
cover the span.
All five commissioners said they had
traveled to see the bridge and all agreed it
Since the district only has 30 lots with
private property owners and one business in
the Kendall Valley Lodge, even collecting 8
mils, the highest allowed by statute, would
generate about $10,000 in revenue a year.
The cost to replace the bridges is estimated
It is unknown if the bridges could support
a fire truck in an emergency, one resident
Burnett encouraged the homeowners
to look at state grant programs with lowinterest
loans. The district’s representatives
said they looked at some and were told
that the county must be included in the
partnership at different levels depending on
the programs or grants.
There is also the dilemma of spending to
repair the bridges when a new bridge could
be installed for $400,000.
Bousman cautioned when looking for
grants, the standards become so high that
the cost could increase to $4 million, leaving
property owners in the district socked with
“We don’t have 10 to 15 years to do this,”
one resident said, estimating the existing
bridges could be serviceable only two or
three years, making it impossible to get
children to town for school.
Commissioners committed to additional
discussion and helping the district find
In other actions:
• Commissioners went into a closed
executive session for personnel that was
added to the agenda after the meeting
opened. Once they returned from the
40-minute executive session, commissioners
came back into session and voted to elevate
Road Bridge Supervisor Billy Pape’s salary
to $92,000. For a complete list of county
employee salaries, see the legal notices in
today’s Pinedale Roundup. The motion
passed, 4-0, with Noble abstaining from
• The purchase of a tractor with a boom
mower was approved from Alamo Group,
Inc., for $291,617, under the budgeted
$293,314. A second bid for a John Deere
mower was submitted for $279,000 but
adding a boom mower would have cost an
• A bid from Westate Machinery for a
radial stacking conveyor was approved
for $158,000 with additional options
for $33,150. A second bid by Holland
Equipment Company for a telescoping
stacker for $246,900 was not accepted.
• A bid for a transport truck, primarily
used for recycling, was accepted. The
current 1994 vehicle being replaced has
more than 888,000 miles.
• Commissioners approved moving
forward with a request for proposal for
remodeling the Big Piney Library after
director Sukey Hohl and library board
members submitted a proposal cutting about
10 percent off the initial $2-million cost.
• Following a review of the past year’s
health insurance claims and industry trends,
it was estimated the county’s health-care
plan costs could increase 9 percent. The
county is partially self-funded, paying the
first $90,000 in claims. Tiffany Monk with
Tegeler & Associates was given approval to
go forward and solicit bids from different
companies before the renewal period
in September. She said even though the
county’s claims had decreased over the
past year, the rising costs of health care
contribute to increases.
• Commissioners accepted a bid of
$8,500 to sell a 1964 wildland fire truck.
The vehicle is part of an ongoing effort to
reduce older vehicles from the fleet and to
ensure compatibility between equipment.
• Commissioners agreed to apply for
COVID-19-related reimbursements under
the CARES Act for $263,373. County
Administrator Matt Gaffney said $194,000
is for general fund expenditures including
equipment, personal protective equipment
and tests. The rest was for overtime and
added salaries, which he added are unlikely
to be reimbursed.
A recent release from the state of
Wyoming said funding will be distributed
by the state based on the number of cases
in an area.
• A policy memo was approved dictating
conditions employees need to meet if they
test positive for COVID-19.
• A plat was approved to expand the
Cora Cemetery by 20 to 30 lots. The lots
were included in the original cemetery
but the layout did not list them as lots.
Commissioner Noble abstained form the