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Powell, WY

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Tessa Schweigert

The 61st Wyoming Legislature adjourned a day early last week, finishing its four-week budget session.

As with any legislative session, some bills sailed along smoothly while others stirred up controversy. Here are a few highs and lows:

City leaders consider site near sanitation department, informational meeting March 19

Rather than hauling trash to a rural transfer station or distant landfill, city sanitation trucks may take garbage right back to their starting point — the City of Powell Sanitation Department.

City leaders are considering building a garbage transfer station near the current sanitation department at 413 N. Ingalls, near the eastern water tower.

Deteriorating plaques removed, stucco to be replaced with granite

When holes first appeared in plaques at the Powell High School Veterans’ Memorial, some residents feared vandalism was to blame. But upon closer inspection, corrosion clearly was the culprit.

“It wasn’t vandalism. They were just falling apart,” said Chuck Hewitt, Powell city parks superintendent.

The news last week came as a shock — and an incredible disappointment — to many.

We reported early last week that a former Powell Valley Healthcare chief executive officer allegedly embezzled nearly $850,000 in the span of about six months.

To make matters worse, the embezzlement amounts to a $847,934 loss for Powell Valley Healthcare — not to HealthTech Management Services, the company that employed Paul Cardwell as CEO. HealthTech is suing only for its damages, not for Powell Valley Healthcare’s loss.

Powell Valley Healthcare recently voted to intervene in the lawsuit against Cardwell.

If allegations are true, then it appears Cardwell — now believed to be in Thailand — might have taken advantage of a fledgling board and new chief financial officer.

During the Powell City Council meeting last week, a city employee made a comment that was especially refreshing in light of some legislators’ recent attempts to restrict public access to information.

“If you have any questions, contact us, absolutely. That’s why we’re public employees. We work for you,” Gary Butts, city public services manager, told residents who gathered last Tuesday night to hear about an upcoming street renovation project.

In the moments of early dawn, Brooke Nisley runs around the track at Powell High School. She runs alone, in the stillness of wintry mornings, watching as the world around her awakens.

“The sunrises are beautiful in the morning — oh my goodness,” she says.

Unless Wyoming lawmakers pave the way for adequate funding, more roads and bridges in the state will deteriorate.

One-fifth of Wyoming’s roads are in poor shape, and a report released last week warned that number could nearly double by 2022 if state lawmakers don’t provide enough funding for roadwork. The report, released last week by the Washington, D.C.-based group TRIP, also warned Wyoming may see an increase in deteriorating bridges.

City outlines project Tuesday night

Aiming to improve aging avenues, the city of Powell plans to widen and renovate five streets in a proposed five-year project.

A public hearing on the overall project takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, during the Powell City Council meeting at City Hall.

City approves $39,775 bid

Seeking a long-term fix for recurring surface problems at the Powell Aquatic Center, city leaders opted to install a new PVC liner for the center’s leisure pool and continuous river. Last week, the Powell City Council unanimously approved a $39,775 bid for the project to Aquatic Renovation Systems, Inc., of Indianapolis, Ind.

It’s not the way you expect a day to begin in our quiet community.

Early Thursday morning, Powell police received a 911 call that someone was firing shots at a local motel. The man later told police he was holding hostages. Law enforcement officers surrounded the motel, and a standoff ensued.

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