Star Valley Council Expects To Change Meeting Location

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It looks like the Star Valley council meetings will move to a new location, but not in the way the council initially envisioned.

In May, the council instructed Town Manager Tim Grier to explore the option of renovating the garage at the current town hall site to accommodate town meetings.

Grier estimated it would cost around $35,000 to add a bathroom, drop ceiling and remove the garage doors.

However, after soliciting bids from contractors, Grier realized his rough estimate was $50,000 off the mark. Just to renovate the garage, excluding electrical, furniture and window coverings, it would cost $51,000. Add in $6,000 to $15,000 to pave the parking lot and additional expenses and the grand total was around $90,000.

“It was not the right choice with the price tag,” Grier said.

Instead, the council decided to move from the Star Valley Baptist Church, where they have held meetings since the town’s inception, to the town hall’s existing meeting space. Grier said there is plenty of space in the back room for the number of residents who attend current meetings, which averages out to five or six. The town will use the garage as a storage facility for its lawn mower and street signs.

Moving from the church was not monetarily driven Grier said, because the town only donated $50 for every meeting. It was inconvenient for town staff to set up audio equipment and seating.

Grier also worried that some residents might be discouraged to attend meetings because they were held in a church.

This was the first reading of the ordinance so the council did not vote on it. They could approve it at the next council meeting Aug. 18.

Also at the meeting:

• Council appointed Councilor Vern Leis and Sharon Rappaport to the general plan committee. Anyone is welcome to join the committee and Grier invites anyone interested in the future of Star Valley to apply.

“There is no better time to do so where they can make a difference and add their perspective,” he said. “It is an excellent opportunity to say how you think the town should look and how the money is spent.”

• Discussed hiring additional crew members for streets and roads projects.

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