Fearing vandalism, county nixes Red Grade sign

SHERIDAN — The county will no longer be installing a vehicle-activated flashing sign to warn drivers to slow down on a dangerous curve on Red Grade Road due to concerns about the sign being shot up, which could pose a hazard for a nearby landowner.

Sheridan County commissioners voted 5-0 Tuesday to reverse a vote of approval given March 18 for the sign. That vote was 3-2 in favor of accepting a State Parks and Cultural Resource grant for $3,900 to cover the cost of the sign. The county match for the grant would have been the work to install the sign.

“We approved the sign two weeks ago with the idea that one person here spoke in favor of it to deal with a perceived hazard spot on the mountain,” Commission Chairman Terry Cram said.

However, since the approval the county has received a few letters of objection to having flashing lights in a pristine mountain atmosphere, a sentiment shared by Commissioners Steve Maier and Mike Nickel when they voted against the sign originally. Furthermore, Marcus York, the resident who originally requested something be done to deal with the dangerous corner because drivers regularly miss the curve, leave the roadway and end up in his front yard, asked that the sign not be installed.

“The owner himself rescinded and asked that we reverse the decision,” Nickel said.

York realized the sign would be directly in line with his house and a solar panel on his property and became concerned about drivers shooting the sign and bullets possibly hitting his house.

 

“Our biggest issue with signs out there is they’re shot up a lot. We spend a lot of money, thousands and thousands of dollars, repairing those signs,” Nickel said. “Where this sign was going to be located, which was the best location for that sign, was right in line with the cabin owner who raised the initial issues.”

York had placed a few boulders near the road to try to stop cars from entering his yard but said he is willing to move the boulders back and give the county more of his land to work with for alternatives to make the curve safer, Nickel said.

The money from the grant will be returned and used elsewhere around the state, Nickel said.

In other business, commissioners voted 5-0 to enter into an agreement with EnTech Engineering for design work on water system upgrade at Sheridan County Fairgrounds.

Payment for services will be on a time and materials basis in an amount not to exceed $49,890, County Grants Administrator Mike Mackey said. Forty percent of the engineer’s fees will be paid with recently received State Loans and Investments Board grant funds.

The project is also at the top of the county’s list for county consensus funds, which would serve as a match for the SLIB grant, that come from a state distribution. The use of county consensus funds must be voted on by the county and all its municipalities.

Mackey said design and engineering work can be started and paid retroactively, but no construction work on the project could begin until the use of consensus funds is approved by the governor in July. The fairgrounds hopes to complete the project this fall.

 

In other business

 

• Issue: Adoption of the Sheridan County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.

• Discussion: County Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Coleman said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has already approved the updated hazard management plan, which is required in order for the county and its municipalities to be eligible to receive state and federal funds for declared disasters, including floods.

“This is one of the most important documents you can approve,” Coleman said.

• Action: County Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the plan.

 

• Issue: To consider consent for a revised lease of water rights in Lake DeSmet.

• Discussion: Nickel said the revised lease is a housekeeping matter to eventually enable Johnson County to enter into a lease on Lake DeSmet with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and terminate the Sheridan County/Johnson County Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition.

Nickel said the Game and Fish lease on Lake DeSmet is expected to occur at the commission’s meeting in Casper on April 22.

• Action: Commissioners voted 5-0 to consent to a revised lease.

 

• Issue: Consider proclamation for Month of the Military Child.

• Discussion: Approximately 5,000 children in Wyoming have been directly impacted by the military deployment of at least one parent. The commissioners expressed their gratitude to military families and children who sacrifice for service to America.

• Action: Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve proclamation of April as the Month of the Military Child in Sheridan County and encourage ceremonies and activities that honor military children.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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