ROCK SPRINGS — Members of the Rock Springs City Council narrowed down their list of proposed projects to be funded by a potential sixth-cent specific purpose tax at a workshop Monday evening.
Councilman Keaton West serves as liaison to the countywide group formed to present a tax proposal to the Sweetwater County Commission and, ultimately, voters.
At the beginning of Tuesday’s workshop, West referred to the Aug. 27 meeting where county municipalities and other organizations shared their wish lists. The total came out to more than $228, and entities were told to go back to the drawing board, set priorities and see if projects could be dwindled down.
The city of Rock Springs presented a list of eight projects totaling $40.8 million at the Aug. 27 meeting.
After some discussion at Tuesday’s workshop, Rock Springs council members revised that list, removing three projects, adding one other and agreeing to sponsor three requests by outside agencies.
West proposed adding a $1 million project to the city’s priority list for gateway and green belt beautification improvements. Mayor Tim Kaumo agreed that the east entrance into town needs some work and said that while infrastructure is important, “it is just as important to consider quality-of-life projects to make our community a better place to live.”
Kaumo also expressed frustration that no people from the community came to the workshop. The only ones in attendance were city employees, people from outside agencies making requests and journalists.
“Just because you rant on social media doesn’t mean you’ve made a difference,” he said. “If you want to make a difference, you show up to meetings so we can make an educated decision.”
Discussions prior to the vote included the merit of projects being considered and whether alternate funding options had been pursued. Council members also discussed recommending to the county commission that infrastructure and quality-of-life or recreation projects be presented as separate ballot initiatives. Councilmen not in attendance included David Halter, Tim Savage and David Tate. Halter and Savage emailed comments that were shared at the meeting.
The three items removed from the Aug. 27 list totaled $19.3 million. After subtracting the $1 million beautification project, the total amount reduced from the city’s Aug. 27 project total was $18.3 million. The three outside agency requests amount to just under $20 million, bring the city’s new total to $42.41 million.
Projects approved for the Rock Springs specific purpose tax list moving forward include:
— $4 million for water reclamation facility odor control/improvements
— $2.5 million for storm water detention basins on Lionkol Road
— $5 million for sewer projects
— $5 million for water projects
— $5 million for storm water projects
— $1 million for gateway and green belt beautification
Projects that council members voted to remove from the Aug. 27 list include:
— $15.8 million for east Belt Route phase one and Century West parking lot. The project would have provided infrastructure for future development, according to West.
— $1.5 million for Dewar Drive widening
— $2 million for College Drive widening
Outside agency sponsorship requests approved at Tuesday’s workshop include:
— $3.36 million for Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport’s commercial terminal project
— $3.5 million for the YWCA of Sweetwater County to remove the outdoor pool at the facility and build an extension where it was located in order to expand child care services. The city of Rock Springs owns the property.
— $13.05 million for a multiuse facility to be built adjacent to the Rock Springs Family Recreation Center. The effort has been spearheaded by people involved in youth sports and would be designed as an indoor option for sports during inclement weather. Wendorf and Zotti voted not to approve the request.
West planned to participate in a phone meeting Tuesday evening for organizations to share their revised lists and make additional plans.