By BARBARA ANNE GREENE
Two familiar faces are back on the Manderson Town Council.
Former Manderson mayors Helen Saunders and Tim Patrick were sworn in as town council members Monday night at the councils first meeting of 2013. Saunders was re-elected to the council in November and Patrick begins his first term. Patrick was elected as the new mayor pro-tem.
In other business Town Clerk Shannon Kemp gave an update on Resolution No. 132, which was a predevelopment planning grant from Wyoming Rural Water for water lines and tank. The grant is an 80/20 split. Patrick expressed concerns about the town being able to pay for its 20 percent. Brown said, “We don’t have the money to make our share of the match. I agree with Tim. Why waste our time.” The council voted to hold off on the grant application at this time.
The council voted unanimously to renew the franchise agreement with Wyoming Gas. The agreement gives Wyoming Gas the right to put in gas lines to homes located within the town limits.
Mayor Randy Brown adjourned the meeting to go in to executive session for personnel.
After 15 minutes the council returned. The meeting was called back to order. Patrick reported that nothing was resolved in the executive session so the council set a second executive session for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Kemp presented the treasurer’s report. Kenneth Hall gave the water and sewer report. He said, “Everything is going good.”
Kemp then reported on the Joint Powers Board December meeting. “It lasted about 15 minutes and there are no major breaks,” she said.
The council voted to approve the month’s bills for the second half of December and the first half of January. Patrick asked why the town was paying bills twice a month. Kemp explained it was “to avoid late fees.” After several minutes of discussion the council voted to pay bills once a month.
Brown asked for comments from the audience. Lloyd Franks asked about the progress on the clean up of the property located at 209 Sherman. The property was formerly owned by Jenny Carpenter, who has left the area. She gave the property to the Browns who are in the process of cleaning it up. Carlene Brown said, “We have been working on it. Loads have been taken out.” Randy Brown said, “The cold weather has slowed us down. When it is warm though we are working on it.”
Justin Ryan asked the council to reconsider his application for mechanic. Brown told Ryan, “It is slow until spring.” Ryan said, “I know there is a mosquito sprayer, lawn mower and weed eater down now.” Brown told Ryan they would consider his application “when things picked up in the spring.”
Councilman Ben Bennett wanted to discuss the dog issue in town. Bennett said, “that the fees for licensing should go to a pound in town.” He gave copies of the Wyoming Constitution Title 15 to the council and the mayor. The statute states that towns may “Regulate or prohibit the running at large within the city limits of any animals, impose a license fee for the keeping or harboring of dogs and establish and provide for the operation of a pound.”
Brown said that the reason the licensing was for the safety of the people in town. “We know what dogs are in town and that they have had their rabies and distemper shots.” Bennett said “I don’t have a problem paying the fees. I just think we should support the constitution.”
Brown said that at a recent Wyoming Association of Municipalities meeting he was told that state law only says that towns must “require dog owners have rabies and distemper shots before licensing them.”
Patrick said he can see both sides and would “like to look into it.”
The council will discuss the issue again at the February meeting.