Sand remains an issue for Yoder

'Town urged to document health problems'

Jess Oaks
Posted 4/10/24

YODER – The Yoder Town Council was called to order at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8 at the Yoder Community Building, in Yoder.

Mayor Norm Feagler called the meeting to order, and members of …

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Sand remains an issue for Yoder

'Town urged to document health problems'


YODER – The Yoder Town Council was called to order at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8 at the Yoder Community Building, in Yoder.

Mayor Norm Feagler called the meeting to order, and members of the council present were Elsie Gray, Josh Haffner, Bob Oaks, Amanda Fogle, Lilian Green, Colby Sturgeon, and Rod Weyrich. Justin Burkhart was absent due to illness. 

Gray made a motion to approve the April agenda and it was seconded by Haffner.

Oaks interrupted before the vote and explained information on Burkhart’s behalf. 

“The grant money for the new heating system comes into the town because the town was the entity that filed for that,” Oaks said. “When I talked to him, they’re going to go down to Denver and pick up the equipment and we need to cut a check for that.”

Oaks told the council he had the exact dollar amount requested, $6,676, for the system paid to Infra-Red Heating. He also stated the tax ID number would be needed for the transaction. 

“The next item is the approval of the March 2024 meeting minutes,” Feagler said.

Gray made the motion to accept the minutes as published, which was seconded by Fogle. After the vote, the March meeting minutes were approved. 

Green mentioned the bills for Verizon and Wyrulec were not yet received and asked for pre-approval to pay them.

A motion was made to accept the bills with the addition of Aflac, Verizon, Wyrulec, and Infra-Red by Gray and seconded by Haffner. The March bills were approved. 

There were no participants in the public comment portion of the meeting, so the council moved on to new business. 

“We have in here that you need to be aware, spring clean-up is the 21 through the 24 of June (for Yoder residents),” Feagler explained. 

Moving on to the second item under new business the council approved the first reading of the 2024-2025 budget.

“I would like to note that items that are highlighted in green are once we actually don’t have any control over because we get them from the state,” Green said. “The ones highlighted in yellow are ones that we want to take and bring for the council for your approval to add to the budget.”

Gray made a motion to accept the first reading of the budget which was seconded by Haffner. The first reading of the 2024-2025 budget was approved and carried. 

The council then moved on to a building permit for a building container.

Weyrich, the maintenance supervisor, explained to the council the addition would be like what was on the property currently.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the building permit for Darren Becker which carried. 

Feagler next spoke to the council about a meeting between himself, and Senator John Barrasso’s field representative which had to be rescheduled initially, regarding the multiple complaints the council has heard regarding a local business. Feagler explained many of the community members were in attendance during the meeting along with representatives for Western Proppants, the business in question. 

“It was supposed to be a workshop because she wanted to find out and relate whatever we talked about to Senator Barrasso to see if we could get some help from him,” Feagler said. “The upshot was not very productive. It boils down to the fact that the federal government says that our noise, the truck traffic, and the dust should be handled by state agencies. I can tell you right now that the dust and the noise is not going to get taken care of. I can tell you that right now. It was suggested that part of the dust, and this was by an attorney who was present there, that agriculture dust and dust from cars on the gravel road was a big contributing factor to the dust too,” Feagler added. 

Feagler also expressed to the council, planting trees was another suggestion found during the workshop meeting but also noted it takes a great length of time before the trees will mature. 

“As far as the truck traffic was concerned, Senator Barrasso’s field representative suggested that she would contact the governor and that I should do it as well because I have called WyDot about it so many times. I’ve got it all in my own little book here with dates and times and everything. I’ve been fighting this since 2022,” Feagler expressed. “We will find out if the buck stops at the governor’s office because that’s who I’m going to next.” 

“The question or the concerns with everybody calling Senator Barrasso and everybody else in this situation, would it be better to have somebody independently come out with a petition, essentially trying to bring the attention of the whole entire town to get on board with,” town attorney, Sturgeon asked. 

“Greg Long has a petition down at the town hall,” Green explained. 

Sturgeon recommended to the council the information regarding the petition be sent out to the town’s residents in their monthly bills. 

“Can we put that out into the next city bills and everything else to inform people what’s actually down there and if they have any questions or concerns? That way the public has the ideas of what is potentially going on,” Sturgeon said. 

“We are going to pursue the tree thing,” Feagler said. “I don’t know what else to do because they’re going to run and they’re going to make dust.”

“The unfortunate part with the tree situation is this dry sand business isn’t going to be long term. It isn’t going to be here in 20-30 years,” Haffner explained. “It’s here for the next 6-7 years.”

Sturgeon spoke to the council about obtaining trees from the natural resource district and Oaks mentioned some of the areas the council is considering planting the trees are on private property or owned by the railroad.

Feagler mentioned there was a newspaper reporter interested in writing an article on the sand and trucking issues of Yoder and the council agreed with Feagler’s wishes. It was then brought to the councils’ attention; Sturgeon should review the document Feagler wished to present to the reporter. A motion was made and carried. 

Feagler addressed the rumor mill conversations around the community stating he has not heard the complaints of the town’s residents and plans to take no action. Feagler referenced his book of names and dates, stating to the council and public in attendance he was taking action regarding the public concern.

“Somebody is going around saying I haven’t done anything,” Feagler said. “These names that I have up here in this (letter to the reporter) all come out of this little book with dates where I have talked to these people. I would like to give them to the town to let them know what we are doing and it’s not just hearsay.” 

Gray mentioned Feagler should put the letter in with the town’s water billing and the council agreed. Green mentioned she would also add information about the petition at the office, as previously mentioned. 

“When you have that petition you have 130 people going and trying to do something compared to a one-on-one person trying to call or get in contact with all these different individuals and entities,” Haffner added. 

“I think the people of the town, the first thing they should do is go to the state health department say, ‘Hey I can’t breathe anymore’ and say, ‘I have kids out of school sick’ and let them know what’s going on,” Feagler said. 

Haffner expressed how important getting documentation of health problems is in this situation. 

“The big deal is, documentation is key on all this stuff at the same point in time you have documentation stating that there is something going on other than our kids being sick and taken to the doctor,” Haffner said. “You can’t prove anything unless you have documentation.”

“If you go to the doctor because you have problems you should get a copy of the report from your doctor, so you have proper documentation,” Feagler added. 

“Those were the two items I had on the agenda. If you have any questions or any concerns about that (sand), share them with me. I am at wits end this dust and noise,” Feagler added.

The council then moved on to the old business where they approved the contract with the detention center in Torrington. Yoder only pays for the jail service if it is used in the event someone is arrested in the town.

“I say we need to renew it and just pay the services because it just covers our hinny,” Gray said. “We don’t pay anything unless we use it, but we do need to renew it.”  

A motion was made and carried. 

Feagler moved on to the next item in old business, grants for radar signs which will be completed this week. 

“The signs up but it doesn’t register speed yet,” Weyrich said. 

Weyrich also helped determine where the signs would be located. 

“In relationship to the grants on the radar speed limit signs, I have been in touch with Congresswoman Harriet Hageman’s representative in Washington D.C. that informed me there are federal grants available for stop signs and radar speed limit signs, if we’re thinking about wanting to put a stop sign by the school,” Feagler said. 

A brief discussion ensued regarding the speed limit and ways to protect the children of Yoder and the students at Southeast School.  

Weyrich presented a proposal to replace and install upgraded security cameras throughout the town of Yoder. The grant money will be reimbursed to the town. 

Sturgeon had no legal matters to bring to the council’s attention.

Green noted public office training begins soon and once the training is completed, the town will need the certificates. Green obtained council permission to obtain certificates for the training. 

Green also mentioned the Town of Yoder will be conducting a test of their emergency siren on Wednesday, April 24 at 11 a.m., if weather permits. 

“I just want to let everyone know elections are coming up,” Green said. “We have four candidates of now and that is going to be happening May 14,”

The meeting wrapped up shortly after 7:30 p.m. and the next council meeting is Monday, May 14 at 7 p.m.