Marbleton invites public to water, sewer hike talks


SUBLETTE COUNTY – After months of tossing around numbers to make Marbleton’s water and sewer accounts self-sustaining as required by the state, the town council plans a public hearing and resolution vote at its June 13 meeting.

Proposed hikes cover the range of customers from single-family services to town fees and include a new permit for food trucks or temporary businesses.

Mayor Jim Robinson presented charts with suggested “ballpark” price hikes on all water and sewer rates to councilmembers Jeff McCormick, BJ Meador and Karen Wenz at the council’s May 9 meeting.

“You can point the finger at me,” the mayor said, anticipating negative responses from residents. “I came up with these rates. We can look at them today and put it out to the public.”

The current monthly municipal water cost for a single-family home is $21.15; he proposed raising it to $25 a month. For the same home, the monthly sewer cost is $10 and Robinson proposed raising it to $14.

Robinson often points out that Marbleton’s water and sewer rates are very low compared to surrounding communities.

“We haven’t had a raise in years for water and sewer,” he said.

Town clerk Shannon McCormick said the current water rate was last raised in 2012 and she could not find a record of when the sewer rate was set.

“It’s not a painful increase, is it?” Wenz said.

Commercial water rates, including most businesses except convenience stores with fuel sales, would go from $33.78 a month to $40, sewer rates from $15 to $20.

Mobile unit hookups would go from $21.15 to $25 per unit; sewer would also rise to $14 per unit. Motels’ water rates vary and would be set at $5 per unit and $25 for an onsite resident; sewer costs would go to $4 per unit and $20 for an onsite resident.

Churches, senior centers and fraternal facilities would be charged $25 monthly for water and $14 for sewer.

The proposed $150 hike for tap fees to connect to the town’s water or sewer comes to $1,650 each. A $10 building permit filing fee would rise to $20 and remain at 2 cents per square foot. Pet licenses, now $2.50 for altered pets and $5 for unaltered pets, would go up to $5 and $15 respectively. Business licenses would go up to $35 a fiscal year.

After the public hearing at the June 13 meeting, the council will vote on a resolution for new water and sewer rates to take effect July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.

New food truck ordinance

Also on June 13, the council plans a public hearing and second reading for Ordinance 2022-02, amending the town code to “create a special business license fee for temporary and transitory businesses.” The council approved the first reading on May 9.

Robinson asked if he “is out in left field” to propose a food-truck permit for $5 a day or $75 a month.

This would not apply to nonprofits or students setting up stands or selling Girl Scout cookies.

“I am very pro-entrepreneurship but I also know people here (with brick and mortar buildings) pay our water and sewer every day,” he said. “Someone drives in here over the weekend, sells a thousand dollars worth of burgers – it leaves out the restaurants. They hurt other businesses. We’ve got to be fair.”

McCormick said he didn’t think the food truck permit’s $75 fee was “out of line.”

Wenz agreed; “It’s a good idea.”

While the special permit could apply to a variety of out-of-town sellers that set up for a weekend in town, Robinson said food trucks are his main concern because they directly compete with local businesses. 

In other Marbleton news

  • Tim Grazin, who signed up to discuss the county baseball fields with the council, did not attend.
  • Marbleton’s third and final budget meeting is set for Thursday, June 9, 5:30 p.m. at Marbleton Town Hall.
  • Rep. Albert Sommers provided an update from the recent Wyoming Legislature’s session.
  • Joanie Christie explained the free cybersecurity review she undertook; the council approved a motion for office staff to take part.
  • Gene Garrison of the Profiles in Wyoming Resilience invited residents to participate in the state’s photo-survey project.
  • Town attorney Thayne Peterson offered to write a letter that a building extending over the town right-of-way can be grandfathered in but anything replacing it must meet town codes.
  • The council asked public works supervisor Todd Brown to have students applying for summer work come in for mini job interviews on May 16.

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