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April 19, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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April 19, 2012
 

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~!~i~~ "f i I~ C(-' What's Inside ... Arbor Day activities __ Page 3 It's concert season Page 6 District One vals and sals __ Page 7 Council mulls projects Page 13 LOVELL, WYOMING VOLUME 106, NUMBER 45 THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2012 - 75 National week of the volunteer PATti CARPENTER PHOTOS Russ Wilkerson, Jeremy Mangus and Mike Jameson consult with Oliver Mitchell about hot spots that may need to be put out at a special training exercise held on Monday night for Lovell Volunteer firefighters. Lovell,s fire district: Generations of volunteers serving the-Community BY PATTI CARPENTER Are you willing to get up and leave a birthday party, dinner with friends, an anniversary celebra- tion or even your child's baptism? Can you make decisions on your own? Are you willing to put in endless hours of training and service to your community? If your answer is yes to "all of the above," then you might make the cut to become a volunteer fireman on the Lovell Volunteer Fire Dept. team. Up to 30 volunteers at a given time say "yes" to the questions above and dedicate a significant amount of time to service on the team, responding to everything from fires to carbon monoxide calls, gas leaks and extrication of accident victims from vehicles. Volunteers are trained to respond if homeland security is breached and they also are called upon to assist in some search and rescue situ- ations. They provide important education in the schools and act as the epicenter of the spirit of vol- unteerism in the community. The fire district was formed in 1950 by volunteers from the community and was the very first in the state. Prior to that, the town of Lovell had a small fire department that was also formed by vol- unteers in 1935. The district now serves a radius of nearly 600 miles. The fire district is supported in large part by gas and oil money, in part from taxes collected from farmers in rural areas, fees paid by towns, local plants and grants. The organization has grown in leaps and bounds and is highly respected throughout the state. Volunteers are selected after a rigorous screening process that includes being questioned by a panel of up to 10 people. "We don't put people on just because we need another body," said Fire Captain Bob Mangus. "We're looking for somebody who is willing to spend the time that it takes to be a part of this and somebody who is going to hopefully stay with us for quite a few years." "We're looking for someone who can make a decision and doesn't have to be told what to do," added Fire Chief Jim Minchow. The two act as leaders and have both been volunteers on the team for around 30 years. See 'VOLUNTEER FIREMEN,' page 3 BOB RODRIGUEZ ous entities involved in the joint Mason-Lovell Ranch dike, and on Continued cooperative efforts endeavor continuing their mutual the south, near the Five Springs with the dedicated aim of provid- efforts cooperatively, seeking bids Ranch. All the property being ing sensible solutions to subduing is at least 2 1/2 years away if no considered is government owned. sediment in the Big Horn River major snags are encountered. A The group also looked at an active emerged as the primary senti- tremendous amount of planningbentonite mine on BLM land near ment during sessions conduct- and design efforts will be needed Crystal Creek Road to see how ed Tuesday, April 10, by the Big before the bid stage is reached, the sediment might be used for Horn River System Issues Group. Following the gathering intopsoil reclamation. It was stated Meeting in the Lovell Com-Lovell, members of the Big Horn during the meeting in Lovell that munity Center for approximately River System Issues Group Sedi- the project could capture 70 per- six hours, representatives of sev- ment Control Subcommittee held cent of the sediment now affect- eral state and federal agencies an on-site tour of south Big Horn ing the river system. and entities tied to the river, Yel- Lake. Tour attendees were Len- Basically, there would be two lowtail Dam and Big Horn Lake ny Duberstein, planning division parallel, long, rectangular set, offered views and reviews, chief for the U.S. Dept. of the In- tling ponds of several hundred The leading topic surfacedterior Bureau of Reclamation,acres each and there would be as what to do about the constant Montana-area office; Dan Pri-fish passages for spawning. One build-up of sediment, which af- dal from the Omaha office of the pond would be used for five years, fects Horseshoe Bend, side chan- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;then switched with the other for nels and various other interests Rob Hilldale from the BoR Den- five years while clean-out opera- downstream from the dam. Top- ver office; and Lovell resident Bob tions were conducted and which ics also included fishery health Croft of the Friends of Big Horn would result in thousands of involving stocking, spawning and Lake. The purpose of the tourtons of topsoil. One person at the migration; water levels and flow, was to have a first-hand look at Lovell meeting estimated 2 mil- and related topics connected to the area for the possibility ofsedi- lion cubic yards. saving the dam and keeping a ment ponds and discuss what the The concern of entities in- good fishery in play, with a pro- nextstep needs to be toward con- volved in the Big Horn Lake sit- posed sediment control project struction, uation is that without such mea- above Big Horn Lake the major Subcommittee members suresYellowtail Dam wouldreach subject, looked at the Hwy. 14-A east the end of its operational life in After the meeting it was indi- causeway, plus possible loca- cated that even with all the vari- tions of ponds near the former See 'RIVER,' page 3 I BY DAVID PECK Seven of nine mayors and all A unanimous decision by the nine Big Horn County munici- Byron Town Council Tuesday palities participated in a "mayors night to participate in the pPo- meeting" in Lovell last Thursday, posed sixth-cent sales tax initia- April 12, working toward a goal tive means that all nine munici- of finalizing projects and project palities in Big Horn County have costs, Lovell mayor Bruce Morri- agreed to present capital con- son said. struction projects and send the The mayors were joined proposal to voters in November. by the Manderson town clerk The Byron council met at 5and Cowley councilman Dexter p.m. to address the sixth-cent is- Woodis. sue, mayor Bret George said, and "All of the towns were repre- after discussion the council voted sented," Morrison said. "It was a 5-0 to place the sixth-cent propos- very good turnout." al on the general election ballot. Working with the towns was Byron was the final town to attorney Barbara Bonds and in- submit a project for the sixth-cent vestment banker Mary Keating- sales tax, which though originally Scott. The mayors set a May 3 proposed by the Town of Greybull deadline for deciding on projects as a way to maintain a communi- and a total cost of the combined ty swimming pool the community projects, and Morrison said the hopes to build, offers all towns in combined cost of the projects ap- the county an opportunity to fund pears to be around $15 million So projects, far. The sixth-cent sales tax is a The county commissioners county-wide tax for specific cap- must finalize and approve a proj- ital construction projects, and ect resolution by August 27 in or- six of nine municipalities in the der for the proposal to be placed county must approve a project in on the general election ballot in order for the process to move for- November. If the sales tax passes ward. When the tax money pays it would go into effect on April 1, off the projects funded through 2013. the sixth cent, the tax comes off. All five North Big Horn Coun- There are four stages to the ty towns have agreed to partici- funding mechanism: 1) Town pate in the sales tax project, al- councils must approve a possi- though Lovell has yet to officially ble project; 2) Six of nine munici- act on the proposal while discuss- palities must participate; 3) The ing potential projects. Here is a county commissioners must ap- look at each town's proposed proj- prove the projects; and 4) Voters ects: must approve the sixth-cent tax Byron - Mayor George said at the general election in Novem- ber. See 'TAX,' page 8 Byron has a new chief of po- to Byron from Douglas, where he lice. has been a patrol officer. The Byron Town Council "He has a lot of experience," Tuesday voted to hire John Wahl George said. "I'm very pleased to of Douglas as the chief, Mayor have him. He's a very qualified Bret George announced. Wahl will man." , replace longtime officer Frankie Wahl plans to be on duty May Rohrer, who plans to retire. 7 and work with Rohrer through- Wahl, one of four finalists who out May and June. Rohrer plans interviewed with the town, comes to retire on July 1. Mary Freund, NP-C led a workshop entitled "Strengthening Relationships" at the Women's Conference held in Lovell on Saturday. See story and more photos on page 8 BY KARLA POMEROY cent to the north airport. He said A dirt runway for gliders county airport engineering firm could be added to the North Big GDA feels that since a glider club Horn County Airport if land can is increasing use at the airport, be obtained, an adjacent dirt strip runway During Tuesday's meeting might be important. He said the of the Big Horn County commis- gliders prefer dirt rather than as- sioners, Acting Airport Manag- phalt to land. er Willie Bridges reported that Bridges said an area north of he had sent a letter to Bureau of the runway would work to be far Land Management realty special- enough away from the asphalt ist Duane Feick inquiring about obtaining some BLM land adja- See 'AIRPORT,' page 3