Lingle Guide | City council votes to accept sixth cent tax

LINE — Lingle City Council voted unanimously to accept the sixth penny tax, sending it to the Goshen County Commission for approval before being placed on the ballot for residents’ votes .

The sixth penny tax (or specific 1% excise tax) would be an additional sales tax to fund specific infrastructure projects in Goshen County. Each municipal council can vote to accept or reject it. Once three of the five municipalities have accepted it, the proposal will go to the commissioners for their approval. If they vote to accept it, it will go on the ballot in the next election for the people to make the final decision.

Lingle Mayor George Siglin has repeatedly voiced his approval of the tax, recently appearing before the commission with Fort Laramie Mayor Joyce Evans to lobby for its approval. At the city council meeting, Siglin suggested the money be used to repair the town hall, the city’s unfinished sewer project or repair various structures in the local park.

“We all agree that having another tax is no fun,” Siglin said, “but we also agree that we all have infrastructure projects.”

The tax would only be in place for as long as it takes to pay off the projects and would contribute to a lump sum that each municipality could draw on. Torrington City Council has already voted to accept the tax, as has Fort Laramie City Council. Siglin said the proposal will be presented to the commissioners at their next meeting on Tuesday, February 15 at 9 a.m. for consideration.

The board also heard reports from department heads, including Chief Constable Endra Andrews, who said she was dealing with “children, dogs, children’s dogs and more children”.

Pool manager Brandi Hill joined the meeting for the first time since last year, having failed to update the council on a closed pool. She said she was looking for new lifeguards and a new assistant manager. All those 15 or older can apply for the position of lifeguard. CPR, first aid and lifeguard training are necessities.

Hill also said she had already started buying chlorine for the pool as she faced a nationwide chlorine shortage after a major distributor’s building burned down last year. Hill cited prices as high as $1,100 for three buckets of chlorine.

Tabitha Lambert of the Lingle Volunteer Fire Department shared the department’s report with the council. The firemen’s ball will take place on March 5 at the fire station from 9 p.m. until the early morning.

The department responded to five ambulance calls and one fire, including four in Fort Laramie. With only one EMT and a 20-year-old ambulance, the Fort Laramie City Council decided to sell the ambulance, which means Lingle first responders will be called in more often to assist in Fort Laramie emergencies.

Still, Lambert said “not much is going to change.”

Discussions are underway to decide what exactly this new system will look like. With mutual aid agreements already in place, officials are looking to see if additional compensation is needed for the Lingle Fire and EMS departments to cover Fort Laramie as well.

City Supervisor Larry Haeffelin told council the recent power outage had nothing to do with the city. Officials only said it was “some sort of mechanical failure.”

Siglin reminded the council of the upcoming elections. Candidates for mayor or city council will soon have the opportunity to submit their candidacy. The elections will take place on May 10 and the elected officials will take office in June. Budget meetings will begin in late March and continue long enough for new officials to attend.

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