Sale of old town hall lot moves forward

File photo

PINEDALE – A resolution officially authorizing the sale of the Town of Pinedale’s 0.29-acre plot at 210 W. Pine St. passed unanimously at the July 24 council meeting.

The resolution contained a list of property uses that are either allowed or prohibited once the five lots are sold, referred to as “deed restrictions.”

Future owners of the land located on Pinedale’s main thoroughfare are limited to operating a retail sale business or a restaurant, according to the resolution.

The deed restrictions prevent short-term rentals, hotels, motels and residential uses, including multi-family units. Offices may only occupy up to 20 percent of the total floor space of a building constructed on the site and manufacturing and assembly-line production cannot cover more than 50 percent of the area.

Gas stations, convenience stores, parking lots and post offices are also prohibited on the property by the resolution.

Community member and business owner Tesa Manning asked the council why restrictions were placed in the resolution, stating that certain uses for the lot, like a hotel or post office, seemed “reasonable.”

Mayor Matt Murdock replied that the town placed the deed restrictions in the resolution to maintain the “retail oriented” nature of downtown Pinedale. A parking lot, gas station or post office would likely worsen traffic congestion in the vicinity of the Franklin Avenue and Pine Street intersection, Murdock added.

“Our intent is to develop retail space and restaurants in the area, not a big office building,” Murdock said. “We have discussed (the deed restrictions and sale) for months.”

Council members must now decide at an upcoming meeting whether the sale of the property will follow an auction or a sealed-envelope format, said town attorney Ed Wood.

Mayor Murdock stressed the need to advertise the property for more than the three-week minimum required by statute and to publish sale announcements in multiple markets.

The lots at 210 W. Pine St. previously housed the old town hall. Crews demolished the building in 2016 due to health concerns over asbestos in the facility.

In November, the town purchased the former Ultra Building at 205 Entertainment Lane to use as a new town hall.

Project funding updates

Council members are pursuing additional options to fund construction of a Jet-A fuel farm at the Pinedale Airport-Ralph Wenz Field.

A motion and a resolution both passed unanimously authorizing the town to submit a $325,600 grant with a $114,400 local match to receive federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for local government infrastructure from the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB).

The town has also applied for a $440,000 loan from SLIB to pay for the fuel farm. SLIB accepted the town’s loan application and is scheduled to make a decision on Aug. 3, said Abram Pearce, director of public works.

The town hopes to use the pending loan as the local match for the ARPA grant, said Pearce. If the $325,000 grant is approved down the road, the town would use those funds instead of the loan to pay for the fuel farm project, Pearce added.

Based on conversations with Gov. Mark Gordon, Mayor Murdock felt optimistic about SLIB’s approval of the $325,000 ARPA grant.

SLIB also accepted the Town of Pinedale’s $1,258,000 loan application through the state drinking water state revolving fund to replace aging pipelines beneath the Redstone Addition and prevent freezing issues, Pearce reported.

SLIB is scheduled to meet in October to approve the drinking water loan application and determine whether the town can receive a 25-percent loan forgiveness, Pearce said.

The town did qualify for 0-percent interest as a green project if the loan is approved, Pearce added.

Pending SLIB approval of the loan, the town’s goal is to complete engineering for the pipelines over the fall and winter and commence construction in 2024.