Youngsters in Star Valley have a new attraction coming to the community park — a zip line.

The town has ordered a $25,000, 50-foot zip line for the Ronnie and Diane McDaniel Memorial Community Park, specially designed for ages 4 to 12.

It will only be about three feet off the ground and will have a special wood chip surface below it, said Town Manager Tim Grier.

The Star Valley Town Council approved the purchase at its June 18 meeting. Grier said it is hoped the new zip line will be in the park by the middle of summer.

More equipment is also coming to the toddler playground near the large group ramada, Grier said.

He said Chancy Nutt, the town’s finance administrator and Edie Chapin, town clerk, have been discussing a zip line for the park for about a year. Checking with other communities around the state that have a similar attraction the staff learned they are very popular — in fact the one in Show Low is so popular, a second is being added, Grier said.

The $25,000 investment was a little steep for the fiscally conservative town staff and council, so they asked for assistance from the three Gila County supervisors. Each supervisor has constituent service funds available and all three agreed the project was worthwhile, so they all contributed. Supervisors Woody Cline, District 3; Tim Humphrey, District 2; and Tommie Martin, District 1, gave the town a total of $10,000 toward the project.

The new equipment is expected to add to the success of the little park Star Valley built for its residents and visitors and continues to improve.

It is so popular the site’s large group facility is rented every weekend this summer, Grier said.

Budget approved

The Star Valley Town Council approved a $7.1 million budget for the new fiscal year. Staying true to the long-standing conservative approach to its budgets, the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget keeps expected revenue at $1.3 million. The town expects to receive $418,748 in special revenue for FY 19-20.

The biggest increase in the general fund expenses is for the contract the town has with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services. The town spent $426,300 for FY 18-19 and expects to spend $446,600 in FY 19-20. Expenditures are also expected to increase for HURF and Gila County Excise Tax (road) projects.

Star Valley has only three full-time employees and contracts services for two other positions — roads and water. The budget calls for $303,479 in personnel costs, which includes salary, health care and retirement costs.

The budget nets the town a year-end fund balance of $5 million. This is the money the town council can use for capital improvements and other special or unanticipated expenses.

Suggested capital improvements include starting road preservation work with HURF money. Grier said it has been about eight years since any major work was done on Star Valley roads. The proposal is for the first phase and is estimated to cost $130,000.

Repairs and remodeling to the town hall is also a planned capital improvement. Grier said no work has been done on the building since the town took it over. The expected cost is $25,000.

A third project suggested by the staff is putting streetlights on Highway 260 at cost of $100,000.

The council gave its approval to the road work and town hall improvements.

Revoking business licenses

The council directed Grier, who is the town’s attorney in addition to serving as its manager, to research developing an ordinance to revoke the business licenses of those companies within Star Valley’s boundaries that are not paying sales taxes.

The council will not meet on its next regular meeting date, Tuesday, July 2 due to the Fourth of July holiday. Its next meeting is at 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 16.

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