County fee approves amendments to subdivision guidelines, youngster help program

The Natrona County Commission 5/17/22 (Gregory Hirst, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo.—Natrona County Commission approved changes to their 2013 subdivision resolution at their regular meeting Tuesday, in addition to approving their consent agenda.

Changes to the county’s subdivision resolution were initiated last month, preceding a planned full rewrite later this year. Mainly, amendments aim to shift responsibility for publishing the notice of intent to subdivide from the county to the applicant. State statute does not dictate that this responsibility fall on the county, senior planner Megan Nelms previously told the council.

“A lot of this just puts it back into line with what the state requires,” commented Commissioner Jim Milne. “Kind of eliminates some of the costs, some of the burden, on Natrona County.”

The commission also added revisions to language clarifying the kinds of landowner association entities that must be in place to maintain the proposed subdivision’s infrastructure.

“Mainly these amendments are just streamlining the regulations and review process,” explained Nelms. “Makes it easier for everybody.”

The commission was required to allow 45 days for public comment after they introduced the resolution at their May 3 meeting. Nelms stated they had received no written comments, and that general comments regarding the amendments have been positive.

The commission also approved a contract between itself, the state’s Department of Family Services, and Child Support program. This contract established “terms conditions by which Natrona County shall provide a child support program” in accordance with federal law.

Mercer Family Resource Center and Childrens Advocacy Project will receive the funds, Chairman Paul Bertoglio told Oil City News.

Also contained in its consent agenda, the commission approved a license for Don Hollandsworth to obtain property access on Garbutt Road, and one for Rocky Mountain Power to conduct an underground electrical project at 8 Mile & Victory.

Randy Bjorklund addressed the commission, urging members to “represent citizens of Natrona County with the increases in taxes.” He also criticized the commission’s revised budget, which gives raises to its members as well as other elected officials in the county.

Chairman Bertoglio explained that raises allocated in the budget go to “the position, and not the individual. For example, Matt Keating [Natrona County’s assessor] does not get the raise: it’s the assessor that’s sworn in for the next four years that gets that.”

Bertoglio went on to explain that this is the first salary raise elected officials have had since 2010, as state statutes say their salaries can only be raised once every election term. “Once they’re set, it’s set for a minimum of four years,” he said. “And a lot of times it never changes.”

As for their action on property taxes, Bertoglio said, “We are working with our legislators to try and push at the state level—it doesn’t do us any good because it’s going to have to go through our legislators. So that’s what we’re working with.”

Commissioner Peter Nicolaysen urged Bjorklund, along with others, to contact their senator and legislator. “I have spoken with a lot of the legislators from Metro and County on this specific issue. They’re not going to change it for me, they’re going to change it for people like you.”

Bjorklund responded that he still did not agree with the raise amounts, considering the state of the economy.

Prior to its regular meeting, the commission held a public discussion regarding Rotary Park’s Bridle Trail: see Oil City News’s coverage here.

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