Town budget passes first reading

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PINEDALE – Spring means budget season for the Town of Pinedale. Following an hour-long workshop to discuss numbers and certain line items on April 24, council members unanimously passed an ordinance to adopt the budget for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2024 on first reading.

The budget ordinance must pass two more readings before it is formally adopted. A meeting for the second reading is scheduled for May 1 at 4 p.m. in the Pinedale Library Lovatt Room. The third reading is slated for May 22 at 12 p.m., also in the Lovatt Room. The time for the third and final reading may change depending on how much discussion remains from the second reading.

Town staff emphasized that the some of the figures in the budget for the first reading are preliminary estimates. These numbers will be tightened up by the second reading as bids arrive for certain projects and town staff receive news on the status of grants from state and federal agencies.

Town staff are also waiting on up-to-date calculations for revenue derived from federal mineral royalties.

Most of the “heavy lifting” in terms of discussion on the budget will take place at the second reading, said Mayor Matt Murdock.

Council members will also delve into funds set aside for contracts for services to local nonprofit agencies at the second reading. The contracts for services are extended to organizations that provide vital community services or enhance the quality of life in Pinedale. The council must determine whether to offer a contract for service to agencies that submitted their funding proposals after the deadline.

In other town news

The town lifted the annual no dig period on Tuesday, April 25, confirmed Abram Pearce, director of public works.

The council voted, 4-1, to reimburse a resident for $240 in plumbing expenses incurred due to frozen pipes on Driftwood Street. The resident was bleeding water at the recommended level. Mayor Murdock cast the “nay” vote, stating there was no conclusive evidence to determine whether the flow issue was located on the pipeline the resident is responsible for or if it was on the towns’ main line.

The council unanimously approved the mayoral appointment of Stuart Lamson to the Pinedale Travel and Tourism Commission. Lamson previously served on the commission, and the mayor and council welcomed him back.

A motion passed to approve a work order with T-O Engineers to conduct engineering work at the Pinedale Airport fuel farm for $38,858. The engineering work is a preliminary step to install fuel facilities for jet planes at the airport, said Murdock.

Pearce announced the election of Spencer Hartman, water-wastewater supervisor and lab supervisor, to vice president of the Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems. Hartman’s appointment will give Pinedale a crucial voice at the state level, said Pearce. Murdock and council members extended their congratulations.

Mayor Murdock praised the new airport manager, Riley Wilson, for doing a “superb job.” Wilson became the airport manager in October. Councilman Dean Loftus, also a member of the airport board, wholeheartedly agreed.