City talks increase in rec center fees

By Rana Jones, Gazette Reporter
Posted 4/16/24

Members of the Kemmerer City Council discussed budget items, including the visitor center floor rehab project that is estimated to cost around $8,000 during the April 8 council meeting. The …

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City talks increase in rec center fees


Members of the Kemmerer City Council discussed budget items, including the visitor center floor rehab project that is estimated to cost around $8,000 during the April 8 council meeting. The approximated 750 square feet of flooring that needs repair may not need a structural engineer but, since it is not budgeted in fiscal year 2024, the source of funding will need to be determined.

Kemmerer Recreation Center Director Trista Gordon said their fees have not been adjusted since 2017 and suggested a 10% increase for membership dues. She said punch passes will change as well as skate rentals. Increasing rental rates, Gordon said, will help offset increasing maintenance fees on skates.

Sheryl Gunter with the Fossil Basin Promotion Board, along with Gordon, presented an update about grant funds that will go toward new signs in town. Areas on the list for Diamondville include the fishing pond, park, schools and stadium. For Kemmerer, signage includes Archie Neil Park, downtown, walking trails and the fishing pond. Signs are scheduled to be installed by the end of May, and include the main signage at the entrance to town.

Tammy Krell, who is on the advisory board for the Fossil Island Golf Course, presented to the council. Krell said golf course rates were raised two years ago and she wants to know how increased funds are being used.

“We pay a good price already,” she said, “and we don’t want to scare away people who come and enjoy our golf course.”

She said she wants to remind the council, if they must raise fees again, to be mindful of the already increased rates and the shorter season due to snow. She also requested that prices increase in certain areas rather than a flat 10% increase.

Kemmerer resident Sandy Sellers spoke at the meeting, asking about the new housing developments set to be built. Sellers said she is an advocate for growth but was concerned about the plan’s sustainability for the long term. Among her concerns was the wastewater treatment plant, which needs updates.

Kemmerer Mayor Bill Thek said that, although the wastewater system is aged, it has been kept in excellent condition.

“We are going to be able to service the town with what we have now, especially with the lift station upgrades,” Thek said.

Stephen Allen, Liaison for SLCEDC and Chief of Staff for Lincoln County, commended the council for understanding the construction season and ramping up needed permanent housing which should cut off the boom/bust cycle typical in this region. Allen mentioned a conversation he had with the housing policy advisor to the governor, who indicated that Kemmerer is an example in housing development.

“You are layering, whether it’s the official one cent, impact assistance or SLIB. You are doing those things together to get this done right,” he said. He encouraged continued communication and said the city is playing a great role.

Some residents voiced concerns about the condition of Canyon Road, water quality and the growing pains the community will feel as the TerraPower nuclear plant and other businesses come to the area.

A Canyon Road developer attended the meeting and said it was an important objective to provide affordable housing and allowing electric heated facilities could provide that. Stating that unused gas lines would not only be a waste of funding but also a cause for home construction costs to rise, the developer said it is more cost effective to eliminate the need for gas lines. If unused gas lines are installed underground the developer said the state funding may not apply and house prices would increase.