Rock Springs Council Approves Construction Funding

Views

ROCK SPRINGS — The Rock Springs City Council approved a $377,880 contract with DeBernardi Construction for the 2020 Concrete Replacement Phase I project at the October 15 council meeting.

The project includes ADA work, sidewalk, curb and gutter removal and replacement and is scheduled to be completed by October 31, 2020.

The council also approved a contract with Jackman Construction in the amount of $89,500 for the Bunning Park Area Rehabilitation Phase II Project. According to the contract approved by the council, the project will include the demolition, removal and clean up of four residential structures and is scheduled to be completed by December 15, 2019.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

COAL BANKRUPTCIES HAVE STATEWIDE IMPACT

Wyoming House District 48 Representative Clark Stith addressed the council and reported on the first meeting of the Select Committee on Coal/Mineral Bankruptcies on October 14.

Stith said the recent Blackjewel bankruptcy left roughly $100 million dollars in unpaid taxes. “Those taxes go to pay for Wyoming schools and also go to support the counties,” Stith said. Adding that “corks in Wyoming law” essentially leave the state holding the bag and that the special committee is looking at ways to prevent that in the future.

One proposal for protecting state interests to have mining companies pay ad valorem taxes monthly instead of semi-annually. “This proposal, if it’s enacted, would apply not just to coal companies, but to oil and gas and to trona,” Stith said. That’s important in Sweetwater County, because there would be a “catch up period” of one-and-a-half to two years where companies would be paying double taxes every month. “There’s a real concern you would take some companies that financially aren’t doing so well and push them out over the edge,” Stith said.

SPECIAL PURPOSE TAX DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE

Municipal entities presented projects they want funded through a new 6th penny tax at the Board of County Commissioners meeting earlier on Thursday. Councilor Keaton West reported that entities, “didn’t get a whole lot of direction” as to what dollar amount or length of time commissioners would want to see a potential resolution capped at. However, West said the total dollar amount of projects entities presented was over $151 million and that he “got the vibe” that number would need to get trimmed significantly to somewhere between $80-$100 million.

West also said representatives from the county want to see outside agency projects that the city is sponsoring prioritized. Mayor Tim Kaumo said the council should come up with a “scoring system” to prioritize those projects. Kaumo also said that in scoring the projects the city should look in particular at whether there might be other mechanisms available for funding.

The county is the only entity that has not given any indication as to what projects they want to fund through a new 6th penny tax. “Why is the county dragging their feet on this?” Councilor Rob Zotti asked. “That’s a good question,” Kaumo responded. Noting that not knowing how much funding the commissioners want voters to approve for county projects leaves other entities “in limbo.”

NEW ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY

Also at Tuesdays meeting, Jordan Allen was sworn in as the new Assistant City Attorney by Judge George Scott Nelson.