Ranchester Clarifies Ordinance, Reviews Grant Application

Ranchester's town council clarified an ordinance defining bars and grills and reviewed a Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board application for funds in a meeting Tuesday night.

The ordinance, which passed third and final reading at the meeting, allows under age people to be in bars and grills for food and allows individuals who are 18 to work in bars and grills.

The town previously had no ordinance regarding bars and grills, and Ranchester Mayor Peter Clark said the new language brings the ordinance in line with Wyoming statute. In other action, the council reviewed the joint powers board's application to the State Loan & Investment Board for a $1 million loan and $3 million mineral royalties grant to help fund a pipeline that will bring natural gas to the Tongue River Valley. Clark said the goal is to have the grant ready to go to SLIB in the next couple of days. The application would be considered at SLIB's meeting in January.

Also Tuesday, the council is taking another look at plans to establish a railroad “Quiet Zone” on the west end of town, due to the costs. Clark said initial estimates for the equipment called for a total $100,000 cost, with the Wyoming Department of Transportation paying 75 percent and the town about 25 percent. But recent cost projections call for a total cost of about $610,000, of which the town's match would be 13 percent, or about $80,000. Clark said the town has until Jan. 1 to decide whether it can afford that expenditure.

The council in other action voted to award a contract to Master's Touch of Sheridan to re-paint the town's older water tower. Cost is about $11,500. The council also voted to implement a 2 percent pay increase to town employees and discussed the possibility of renting space in the mercantile building to a local crafters' co-op between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Exact dates are to be determined at a later date.