Waterline construction, fire ban, shooting complex and weed prevention discussed at council meeting 

Lisa Phelps lphelps@pcrecordtimes.com
Posted 3/27/24

GUERNSEY – Construction on Guernsey's waterline project is now in full swing, as announced by Mayor Ed Delgado at last week's council meeting.  

Pavement was roto-milled along …

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Waterline construction, fire ban, shooting complex and weed prevention discussed at council meeting 


Cameron Fife (left) and Tayte Rodriguez work as a team utilizing GPS to locate and document positioning of the pipe being installed under Guernsey streets. The steel trench box is utilized in the six-foot trench to protect the workers.
Cameron Fife (left) and Tayte Rodriguez work as a team utilizing GPS to locate and document positioning of the pipe being installed under Guernsey …
GUERNSEY – Construction on Guernsey's waterline project is now in full swing, as announced by Mayor Ed Delgado at last week's council meeting. 

Pavement was roto-milled along Nebraska Ave. on Thursday along the path to be taken by Oftedal Construction crews as they install the waterline re-routing the town's water. The project will direct water from the town's wells to the municipal water tank for disinfection prior to entering the system utilized by the public. While the construction crew can install 100 feet of pipe in an hour, working around existing utilities along the path will take time and care, so it is estimated the line will reach the highway (US 26) in a month. Then a line will be bored under the highway and continue up Nebraska Ave. to the pipe that was bored under the railroad tracks over the winter, then finally attached into the water tank. 

A county-wide fire ban set in place by Platte County Commissioners last week prompted the mayor to announce a fire ban for the municipality of Guernsey. Wyoming state parks have also issued a fire watch and the public is encouraged by each agency to be cautious of the dry conditions in the region during their daily activities. 

Town Clerk-Treasurer Hillary Dawson was given a blessing by the council to go forward with plans to change internet providers from Vistabeam to Visionary. Vistabeam is charging the town $57.95 per router and wanted to increase it to $87.95 each to include business service in the package. Dawson said, “Visionary will give us business service for less than we would be paying Vistabeam.” 

Details will be worked out on the cable that Visionary will need to install to accommodate their service, with the council hoping the cable can be put in before the streets are repaired after the waterline construction is concluded. 

“I'm not going to sign an agreement until (maintenance director) Mike Fronapfel approves it, and they show up, though,” Mayor Delgado said, referring to the still-unknown details of how Visionary would install cable for the proposed internet service. 

The council voted 4-0 to raise the fees listed on the equipment and wage chart by $100 across the board. The equipment and wage chart is the fee schedule for citizens who want to hire the town's equipment and employees to perform specific services. 

The council agreed to approve a contract with Tri-City Parks and Recreation to operate the city pool for the summer. 

Platte County Chamber Director Shawna Reichert gave a report on Leadership Wyoming tour and education session she attended at the Rock Springs trona mine. The plans for a 6-million-ton soda ash mining project to give America a competitive edge over China has preempted the small towns in Sweetwater county to scramble to find a solution in housing and infrastructure to handle the influx of workers into their communities. 

“They are having problems with housing, like everyone. There are only 43 houses in the Rock Springs/Green River area,” Reichert said, adding, the discussions turned to brainstorming resilience within our communities. “We discussed things like how we could help get our community back after a disaster,” she said. 

Reichert also reported the chamber is working with Goshen County to build relationships between the counties to jointly host events that could benefit both counties. 

As a volunteer member of the Platte County Lodging Tax and Tourism Joint Powers Board, Reichert reported since tourism promotion is rolling forward as planned for this year, the board has been having conferences about next year's tourism season with marketing agency West Edge Collective, LLC of Cheyenne. She also said the board is planning an awareness campaign to let people know how the lodging and tax board benefits the local community with funds gathered from visitors to the area through the lodging tax. “We plan in November to go back to the ballot and we want people to understand who is paying tax and where the money is spent,” Reichert said. From its starting point in 2015 when the tax was first instituted, revenue has increased by nearly 40 percent. “ more on the breakdown of what was spent all around on the visitor center and visitor impact... We have good reviews about our campaign. There have been a lot of positive reviews on winter hiking in Platte County and our promotional slogans such as, 'Swim Platte County – no sharks.'” 

Councilman Penny Wells commented about the new pictures on the website advertising Platte County (wyplatteco.com). “They are very good. You should do t-shirts,” she said. 

Reichert told the council they do have collectible stickers and badges with catchy slogans based off the popular Oregon Trail video game. Some of those will be available as t-shirts, including: “I walked the Oregon Trail, and I didn't get dysentery.” 

“It's fun,” Reichert said, adding there is a lot of interest from people around the world wanting to vacation in Wyoming, “Taiwan has opened back up and one of the places they want to go is Wyoming... and when I was in Scotland (recently), I was promoting Platte County.” 

Fronopfel, Public Works department manager said there are two streetlights on order with a three-to four-month waiting period. The streetlight that is currently not working will be repaired at that time. Fronopfel also said he is being required by the Department of Environmental Quality to gather information on what types of connections public water lines tie into. He said residents should receive a questionnaire asking for information on the materials connecting their home to the public water supply – whether it is coper, pvc, galvanized or lead. “I have to turn into the DEQ a report that says what connections are there from the street to the house. Hopefully, if the residents don't know what they have, they will give me permission to look and everything will go smoothly,” Fronopfel said. 

He also reported spring cleaning operations will begin soon as his team shifts to spring and summer maintenance mode. He, town planner Chuck Porter, and the council discussed plans for managing weeds on town property, and after guidance from the council, work parameters will be set up for spraying weeds. Porter said there will be two specific times weeds will be sprayed around town: mid-spring and in the fall. That spraying will not include alleys. 

“Homeowners are responsible for the weeds and trash on their property line through to the center of the alley,” Mayor Delgado said. 

During the discussion, the council determined alternate parking will need to be planned for utilizing the baseball field as the usual parking area is being used as a lay-down yard for the waterline construction project. 

Porter reported some conversations about licensing and permits he has had with people moving to Guernsey from out of state. There is one such party looking into subdividing a lot and building duplexes. “There is a migration to Wyoming from other states. They're coming,” Porter said. 

Mayor Delgado said he would write a letter in support of a grant being sought by Platte County School District No. 2 to expand technology options at the Guernsey Branch Library, benefiting people of all ages in the greater Guernsey area. 

Councilman Joe Michaels reported on the meeting he attended in which a governor-appointed task force is considering proposals for a world-class premier shooting complex in Wyoming. Guernsey is  one of nine communities in Wyoming who submitted requests to be considered as the site of a $10 million dollar complex to not only serve Wyoming and its citizens, but host potential national and international shooting events. The meeting on March 22 in Cheyenne was attended by Michaels and Dawson, in which those nine communities were given more specific parameters to fine-tune their proposals in a bid for the shooting complex that would be a sure economic boost wherever it ultimately is chosen to be built. 

Michaels is optimistic Guernsey has a fair chance of winning that bid, since Guernsey already has a dedicated shooting range with a building that could be added onto or modified to meet the requirements. The only downside is not having much by way of accommodations in the town itself for the larger events, but that could be solved easily if the task force allows him to include hotels and motels within a 30-mile or so radius. “Then we could include Torrington and Wheatland accommodations in the revised proposal,” Michaels said. 

He plans to work hard to convince the task force that Guernsey is the best place for the complex. “I have reached out to various shooting sports groups to see what they need. We could have cowboy shooting without horses, shotgunning, skeet and trapping, archery and more. Usually, those folks have to go out of state to practice.” 

Michaels reported the task force plans to reduce the number of proposals by four or five by the first of June, and in August they will be conducting site visits. “I want to schedule a shooting event for mid-August to show them what we can offer. I'm all in,” he concluded. 

The public is invited to attend an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Town of Guernsey at noon at Gordon Davis Park. There will be many “fun and valuable” prizes donated by local businesses, and volunteers are welcome. For more information, contact Guernsey Town Hall. The next meeting of Guernsey's Town Council will be 6 p.m. April 2 at Town Hall.