Commissioners seek grants to help Hoback Ranches

The Board of Sublette

County Commissioners moved forward in

the process to write grants to help Hoback


The action was part of a full agenda in

Big Piney Town Hall for its pre-Thanksgiving

meeting. All five were present – Andy

Nelson, Joel Bousman, David Burnett, Tom

Noble and Mack Rawhouser – along with

commissioner-elect Doug Vickrey.

Nelson asked commissioners to “give

Mary the go-ahead” to circulate a request

for proposal to pay a grant writer she finds

$20,000 to seek a larger grant from the Wyoming

Department of Homeland Security.

“How will you disperse the RFP,” asked


“Locally and other sources to find folks

out there,” County Clerk Mary Lankford


The motion was approved for Lankford

“to send out RFPs and explore and secure

a grant from the Office of Homeland Security.”

The board also discussed a $200,000 mineral

royalty grant request brought by Dave

Nemetz, of the Hoback Ranches Special Improvement

District. This grant doesn’t require

a match; the county is asked to certify

that the district is in good standing.

Nelson then said the board needed to approve

a notice of intent for Nemetz and the

district to apply for a different Homeland

Security hazard mitigation program grant

with the county making a 25-percent match.

“Where is the 25 percent match coming

from?” asked Rawhouser.

“We have not yet decided,” Nelson said,

suggesting the county’s past waiver of

$600,000 in dump fees might not apply.

Earlier in the meeting Road and Bridge

Supervisor Billy Pape reported on houses

destroyed by the Roosevelt Fire.

“As of Nov. 20, we’ve had 39 houses

come in at 2,600 tons,” Pape said. “It’s

slowed down; it wasn’t as bad as I thought

it would be. Mainly concrete and metal


Roosevelt Fire victims are bringing structures’

trash there with dump fees waived by

the county. Landfill employees have sorted

the trash, recycling the metal and burying

damaged concrete, Pape said.

“Mary has good figures from the tip fees

(waived) to the dump,” Nelson said. “It’s

just shy of $600,000. We’re looking at the

possibility of using it as our match for some

grants. … I was shocked at the number.”

Pape said when the fire trash was first

brought in, “We couldn’t keep up. ... A lot

of people are calling too see if next spring

we’ll take it for free. I said, ‘call me next


Lankford said she could put “in kind” to

show its interest. The board unanimously

approved the notice of intent.

Nemetz then asked about Countywide

Consensus funds discussed earlier as an option

for Hoback Ranches’ roadwork.

“I have a question about that CWC grant

of $187,000 that you guys gave the okay on

at the last meeting,” Nemetz said.

Nelson told Nemetz the county has to

hold a meeting with Pinedale, Big Piney

and Marbleton officials “where all in the

consensus are in attendance.”

Lankford said the funds, from the State

Land and Investments Board, can also be

applied for in January, February and April

if the December deadline isn’t met.

“We have to submit a list (of requests),”

she added. “All the eligible entities have to

get a shot at it. We have to meet with all

of (towns). There are other folks from the

county that may apply for it.”

Nemetz said, “I was under a different understanding

from the last meeting. Marbleton

was on board.”

“The mayor of Pinedale (Matt Murdock)

called this morning,” Nelson explained. “We

still have to go through the right channels.

The county has to spend (the $187,000) and

then be reimbursed. You’re not out of business

on this one. You missed for December

but we still have three chances to apply.”

Nemetz told commissioners that he had

“spent money believing it was coming. Do

we have to wait for this meeting?”

Nelson said Lankford would give notice

of a December public hearing to get a

70-percent consensus. Then the state still

has to approve the request.

Later, Nemetz suggested that the county’s

grant-writer-to-be could help Hoback

Ranches Special Improvement District

apply “for the other grants on this list.”

In other Sublette County Commission


• Lankford asked commissioners to approve

a $3,929 contract for services between

the county and University of Wyoming.

The facilitator, Jessica Weston of Laramie,

would work at the Dec. 7 after-action

agency meeting to wrap up the Roosevelt


• Sublette County Fairground managers

Jay and Brianne Brower were honored

as Fair Persons of the Year by the Rocky

Mountain Association of Fairs.

• Mike Henn said there will be a walkthrough

of Sublette County Conservation

District’s recently purchased building on

Dec. 6 with renovation bids for closing Dec.

13 to be approved at the county’s Dec. 20


• The Sublette County Golf Board selected

Jedidiah Duke for the food and beverage

contract at the Rendezvous Meadows

clubhouse, which is open this winter.

• Bousman asked if commissioners want

to donate $5,000 to the Wyoming Stock

Growers legal fund to support sage-grouse

and grizzly litigation. The board asked if

WSGA’s Jim Magagna could come in January

or February to explain it more.

• Commissioners discussed a potential review

of the Forest Service’s “roadless area”



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