LAGRANGE – At its regularly scheduled meeting On Aug. 11, LaGrange Town Council and 14 other community members heard once again from B & V cafe owners Phillip and Lora Gomes who were happy to report construction plans to house their food truck off of Main Street is going as planned and there are no additional obstacles at this time.
Last month, the Gomes made a plea to the Mayor and town council to extend them an additional two months to work with out-of-area contractors to get the work done in the building that will be home to their food truck which has a gourmet kitchen and provides a number of amenities benefiting the community. Ultimately, the council agreed to give the Gomes an extension but asked the family to return to the town’s meetings in August and September to keep council members informed of progress.
The Gomes’ told council members and Mayor Mark Marshall they plan to be done and moved into the building by September 15. The Gomes’ pending move-in date is just in time for the snowy season to begin, which was a concern of at least one town council member regarding safety along Main Street.
At its July 14 regularly scheduled meeting, LaGrange Town Council approved the final proposal of the new community walking path phase II, as contractors wanted it to be done in August, before wintery weather is expected to begin.
However, at the August 11 meeting, long-time community members, Scott Yetter spoke on behalf of his mother as he requested the town install a fence between the new property and his mothers property to prevent path walkers and dogs from going onto her property. Yetter’s mothers’ property runs along the proposed walking path.
Councilwoman Diane Humphrey stated the decision not to place a fence along private property was “regrettable”, however, LaGrange Public Works Director and Fire Chief Tracy Pragnell said the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), who is helping to fund the walking path, would not pay for a fence. Pragnell told town council and community members that WYDOT considered it, however, ultimately decided against it, citing that if the town wanted a fence up, it would be the financial decision and responsibility of LaGrange.
Mayor Marshall asked Yetter what sort of fence and how long of a fence he would like to see along his mother’s property to prevent path goers from going into her yard.
Yetter responded by saying “more than a barbed wire fence.”
Pragnell and members of the council discussed the boundaries of a fence along Yetter’s mothers’ property, where some fencing is already running along town property, which they ultimately decided that only the north side of her property would require a fence.
After a spirited discussion concerning pricing, type of fencing, length of fencing, placement of fencing and other options outside of WYDOT, Mayor Marshall told all parties he would rather not set a precedent on making hasty decisions after such a discussion and proposed the town “kick this around a bit” and come back to it at the next town council meeting.
LaGrange Town Clerk Cathy Stoddard proposed installing storywalk boards in the town’s new walking path to host stories from Goshen County Library’s storywalk as done in Torrington, Lingle and Ft. Laramie. However, the council decided to pass on that idea at this time due to how late the project is being completed and winter approaching.
Pragnell presented councilmembers with an update on the level II water study, which he stated would last longer than initially anticipated with a tentative completion date of sometime in 2024. He also told council members that his department is in contact with a small handful of residents to process permission requests to do the geological work in getting drilling samples.
According to Pragnell, a LaGrange water well is expected to be drilled on the corner of the LaGrange town property to test from the well to the Foxhill aquifer.
The state will dig wells for the town to use, test them and then offer the alternative locations for LaGrange residents to purchase for 30% of the cost as the state works at testing existing wells. As of August, the state department had three potential locations for LaGrange town council members to consider.
After much discussion, the council chose to discuss it more at its September meeting.
Once again, LaGrange Town Council considered two new ordinances regarding garbage and a third one regarding animals and animal waste. Much discussion in July centered around several community members who had not mowed their lawns, council members continued to discuss whether or not it would be appropriate for the town to enact other ordinances to encourage residents to mow their yards – especially during fire season as one council member stated.
Long-time resident and former town council member Mike Chamberlin asked council members to consider hiring an off-duty law enforcement officer to help LaGrange enforce its laws and ordinances. He stated he felt Pragnell shouldn’t have such overlapping duties where he would make, enforce and settle issues concerning fines and ordinances within town boundaries.
Councilwoman Humphrey suggested a potential reexamination of town funding to hire a LaGrange Town Constable for when and if needed, of which the mayor agreed to the idea as did the rest of the council.
Due to the lack of availability, the council struck down replacing water hydrants in town, of which Pragnell advised council members there are a number of other large repairs around time, which will cause a higher than normal expense report for September.
In order to approve all the town’s bills be paid promptly and on-time, Stoddard requested the council consider moving the meeting from its proposed meeting date of September 8 to September 15; the council agreed and moved the next council meeting to September 15.