Thanks to a fat surplus and a $100,000 federal grant, Star Valley plans to remodel an overcrowded town hall.
The money comes in part from money initially designated for fire hydrants, however, because the town has no water to send to those hydrants once installed, that grant request was denied.
The town can switch the money between projects because it all comes out of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The grants are given to towns statewide to help them make improvements to benefit low- to moderate-income citizens and blighted neighborhoods.
The town plans to reshuffle the money from hydrants to town hall where staff says limited storage has forced a bathroom to serve as a makeshift closet, copy room and restroom that does not meet handicap accessibility requirements.
The town has already set aside $70,000 in CDBG funds to add an electric wheelchair lift outside and remodel the bathroom inside.
Now, Town Manager/Attorney Tim Grier hopes to use the $30,000 reserved for hydrants to remove an exterior wall and expand town hall reception space onto an existing deck.
The new room would provide a place for the copy machine and files removed from the bathroom.
Also at Tuesday’s council meeting, staff will give an update of town finances with a new budget year around the corner.
Despite seeing a 13 percent drop in photo enforcement tickets over the last year, the town continues to bank $25,000 a month.
Grier said photo enforcement revenue nets the town $300,000 a year, with most of those funds added to a hefty million-dollar reserve fund.
Next year, Grier said he anticipates photo enforcement revenue to drop, as it has steadily for the last two years.
The council’s budget strategy is up for discussion tonight. Grier said the council should not have to make any cuts, unlike most government municipalities around the country, thanks to the town’s plump bank accounts.
However, he wants to make sure councilors are planning for the next three to four years, when town revenue could fall.
The council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Star Valley Town Hall, 3675 E. Highway 260.