Lovell council working with architect on town hall project

David Peck

The Town of Lovell is continuing down the path of a possible remodeling and redistribution of town facilities, possibly moving town hall west to the former Lovell Inc. building and remodeling the current town hall for use by the Lovell Police Department.

During the regular monthly meeting of the council last Tuesday, Aug. 9, the council voted to approve an engineering contract with Morrison-Maierle for the project after a presentation by town administrator Jed Nebel, who noted that town attorney Sandra Kitchen had reviewed the contract.

Nebel then presented an undated design for the buildings by Hennebery Eddy Architects for the remodel project. He noted that architect Laura Landon would like to meet with the council at a work meeting to go over the design, review cost estimates and answer any questions the council might have. Nebel said cost estimates are “very preliminary” and do not include engineering and architectural fees.

The council scheduled a work meeting for Tuesday, Aug. 30, at noon.

Garbage truck woes

The Town of Lovell awarded a bid for a new garbage truck on April 9, 2021, but still has not received it.

“We’re not getting one,” Nebel quipped when the agenda item was introduced. He said the company awarded the bid – Montana Peterbilt of Billings – cannot provide the truck they bid on, and the costs of the specialized vehicles have risen.

Nebel said the company has a bid bond as part of the bidding process, but he didn’t want to enact the bond, stating that such an act could harm relationships with vendors.

“I don’t think we’re going to get one,” Nebel said. “I think we’re going to have to re-bid the garbage truck, and costs are going up.”

In the meantime, the town’s current truck is still running, Nebel said, noting that operator Brad McConnell is “taking phenomenal care of that truck.”

Town clerk/treasurer Colleen Tippetts said a certain percentage of garbage fees go into an enterprise fund for necessary equipment like a garbage truck or trash receptacles, but that fund is falling short.

“It looks like we’re going to have to raise garbage fees,” she said, adding, “That was already on our radar.”

Nebel informed the council that the town had received “multiple complaints” about burning at the vegetative waste site north of town, noting, “One gentleman said he got smoked out of his house.” He said he’s discussing with the town crew the possibility of waiting until winter to burn the material, when most people are inside and windows are closed, or spreading out the material and letting it dry completely so that it burns hotter and faster.

He added that some people are “abusing” the site and using it as a dump, with the crew finding such items as recliners and book shelves at the site, which is meant for cut tree limbs, grass, weeds and the like.

“We’ll maybe look at updating our surveillance camera system,” he said.

Swimming pool

Nebel reported that he is working with the School District No. 2 on the future of the community swimming pool.

“The pool is well past its lifespan,” he said. “It was built as a 25-year pool and is in year 44. It’s in rough shape.”

He said replacing the pool would be expensive, noting one estimate of $3.7 million. He said a committee of town and school officials and members of the community will look at a variety of options, noting that a new pool would likely have to be financed through a bond issue.

In other action
August 9:

• The council voted to approve the annual special use permit for the Mountain Construction office at 25 West 10th Street in Lovell. The permit allows the company to operate in a limited residential zone for the office.

• With Cody hosting the Wyoming Association of Municipalities convention next summer, area towns in Region III are being asked, as is the tradition, to help sponsor the event, including Lovell, Nebel said, noting that Lovell is a dues paying member of WAM with annual dues in the amount of $3,095. The council expressed interest in assisting Cody with event costs, and Nebel said he will discuss funding options with Tippetts.

• Nebel addressed the council about the town renting out the kitchen at the community center as a commercial kitchen for those who need such a designated facility. He said he will work with Tippetts on a potential fee for use of the kitchen alone.

“It is a certified commercial kitchen,” Nebel said. “It might facilitate a business to take the next step.”

• Nebel said work on the skate park portion of the Constitution Park project would begin “in a couple of weeks” with equipment for the splash pad equipment arriving in late August and playground equipment in October.

The town crew began demolishing the wading pool and taking down the old playground equipment on Tuesday.