Town Of Star Valley Can Now Pay The Bills

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After operating on promises and IOUs since its incorporation several months ago, the Town of Star Valley can now pay its bills.

The town council accepted a proposal from Stockmen's Bank at its regular Tuesday meeting establishing a $100,000 line of credit.

"Stockmen's Bank gave us the best bid on everything, and they even do the payroll," Councilor Art Lloyd told the council. Lloyd chaired the committee that solicited bids from financial institutions.

"My recommendation is that we go with Stockmen's because they're local and they're independent," he said.

"They can make a decision here rather in Columbus or some other place."

In other action at the Tuesday meeting, Diamond Star Fire Chief Gary Hatch met with the council to discuss the allocation of $50,000 in matching funds by Gila County to create more fuel breaks around the town.

"Currently, we have (environmental and archaeological) clearance (from the federal government) on the south side of The Knolls and Pine Ridge subdivisions," Hatch told the council. "NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act) has already been down in there."

Hatch indicated some fuel break work has been completed.

"We've already got a lot done on the Diamond Point and Dealer's Choice areas," he said. "Lion Springs on the south side of Highway 260 has not been done yet."

The fire chief said he would like to end up with a 300-foot-wide fuel break around the town's subdivisions.

"We're taking all the dead out," he said. "We're taking live Manzanita and Oak, as well as some of the pines and junipers when they're too heavy and too close together. Basically, anything with an 8-inch trunk on it we try to leave."

Hatch also said the fire department has been awarded a grant to pick up and dispose of brush cut by residents on their own property, but it won't be implemented until funds are received.

The critical need to create fuel breaks is made worse by the fact that today's wildfires no longer follow the rules, Hatch said.

"The February Fire burned to the south, into the wind, downhill in February," he said.

"We call that a ‘dumb fire' because it didn't read the book.

"The book says that can't happen.

"These fires we're generating today are writing their own book."

Also at the Tuesday meeting, resumes of candidates for town clerk were distributed to council members for their review and rating.

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