Rifle raffle raises Puncher lunch money

Joy Ufford photo The Marbleton Town Council watches as Big Piney school district superintendent Charles Jenks draws the winning raffle ticket at its March 13 meeting. An anonymous donor provided the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle to raise $2,610 for students’ lunches.

SUBLETTE COUNTY – The highlight of the Marbleton Town Council’s meeting on March 13 was the drawing of the winning raffle ticket for an anonymously donated Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle with sales benefiting Sublette County School District 9’s student lunch program.

Superintendent Charles Jenks drew a ticket and the winner was announced – Kerry Duncan.

The fundraiser collected $2,610 for students’ needs with tickets sold at the town hall and Waterhole #3.

“We truly appreciate it,” Jenks told councilmembers Jeff McCormick, Roger McMannis, Robinson, B.J. Meador and Karen Wenz.

The school board recently decided how to use its holiday donations from south county supporters, he said. Every student’s lunch account balance was dropped to $10; then the board created a new policy to help more students and work with families in the future

“You can see the concern from our communities that see a real need,” Robinson said. “That’s what this was designed for.”

Having fun

Sublette County Visitor Center’s Peter Paulin updated the council on 2022 visitation, noting countywide overnight visitors dropped 11 percent from 2021, with more day trips. The top five states with visitors were Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Texas and Montana, in that order.

Top areas of spending were food, gas, lodging, retail, guides and services and recreation, each lower than last year.

A total of 19,308 people came into the Visitor Center in Pinedale, down 10 percent from 2022, and staff were involved in almost 4,300 direct referrals for outdoor recreation, RV/camping, and the Museum of the Mountain Man.

Last summer, seasonal Visitor Center staff at the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney met 1,585 visitors, he added.

The return of Hard Hats & Stetsons, the museum’s “huge success” fundraiser at Waterhole #3, “met and exceeded our grant needs to start (remodeling) work across the street,” he added. This is the old garage-gas station log building on the corner of Budd Avenue and Highway 189 that its buyer donated to the GRVM.

With that and lodging-tax funds, Paulin said they will develop new signs, set up a temporary Visitor Center again this summer and focus more on the Wyoming Range. He’s also putting together a request for proposals for the new visitsublettecounty.org website.

In related business, the council approved a half-page promotion ad for the Sublette County Travelers Journal.

Public works supervisor Todd Brown said volunteers and staff planned to prep the community pond for ice-fishing, chili and hot chocolate on Saturday, March 18. Flicks N’ Pins manager Mike Orham predicted doubled audiences for some of the upcoming big-ticket films this spring and the annual bowlers’ is moved to April 26.

Before that on Saturday, April 15, the Children’s Learning Center kids will bowl for “pledges per pin” and sell pizzas as a fundraiser.

Water works

The council began discussing delinquent municipal water-sewer accounts – $39 per month for residential – and off-hour calls for services.

The town hasn’t charged people yet to turn services on and off but the council considered a $25 deposit to be paid when an account is opened. The current late fee is a percentage at $1.95 for the first late payment.

“But there are people who decide not to pay all winter and we have to send them letters in the spring,” Robinson said. “We have people calling to have someone come on weekends to turn on and off; we haven’t charged but I feel somewhat taken advantage of.”

Town clerk Shannon McCormick said staff “use their discretion if someone is working with us” and it’s “very, very rare” bills don’t get paid.

The council then tabled the fee discussion.

The town has had frozen pipes recently with ground frost still deep; at Flicks N’ Pins, 300 feet of frozen lines were jetted out with a hydro-vac, Brown said.

It’s too early for town customers to quit running a faucet, he added. “More people are frozen around town; we’re trying to help as we can.”

“Including the mayor is frozen and I had two pencil-streams and two running toilets,” Robinson said.

Consultant Sam Bixler reported 250 sandbags are handy for when all the snow and ice melt and starts to flood. Marbleton has sand available and will help fill them, Brown said.

The council adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel and litigation, without taking action.




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