Flat Creek flood fight

By Jim Stanford on January 21, 2014

Comments: 14 Comments

An excavator clears ice from rocks in Flat Creek on Saturday. By Sunday, five trackhoes were working in the creek to alleviate flooding.

Flooding caused by ice formation along Flat Creek came to a head this weekend, and the town again had to assist homeowners in breaking up the ice.

After being contacted by constituents in the neighborhood, I went out there with Mayor Mark Barron on Saturday to survey the flooding, ice buildup and efforts by residents to protect their property. The flooding affected homes from Stacy Lane to Crabtree Lane and was some of the worst people had ever seen.

In a matter of hours Friday, I’m told, the level of the water and ice rose about 3 feet. This came after I tried to walk the pathway behind the post office Thursday and found it impassable.

Putting heavy equipment into the creek to break up the ice is not a delicate operation, despite the operators’ best efforts. The ice was 3 feet thick or more, and anchored to the stream bottom in places. For every trackhoe breaking it up, two more were needed to scoop up the loose ice floating downstream, else a jam could form and cause even worse flooding.

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Posted under Environment, Politics, Town Government

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Don Frank to serve as 5th councilor

By Jim Stanford on January 17, 2013

Comments: 11 Comments

The Jackson Town Council today appointed Don Frank, a 22-year Jackson Hole resident and Indian Trails homeowner, to serve the remaining two years in the seat vacated by Melissa Turley.

Frank is president of Dembergh Construction. He and his wife, Maryellen, have two teenage boys.

Mayor Mark Barron and councilors Bob Lenz, Hailey Morton and Jim Stanford voted to appoint him, after hours of deliberation over two days. The seat was vacant following Turley’s election to the Teton County Board of Commissioners.

Frank was one of 11 applicants who interviewed before the council Wednesday. He was the first to submit his letter of interest to the town in December. During the interview, he came across as thoughtful, experienced in budgets and knowledgeable about construction.

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Fulmer to challenge Barron for mayor

By Jim Stanford on August 15, 2012

Comments: 7 Comments

The mayoral primary in the upcoming election just became a race.

Jim Fulmer

Longtime Jackson resident Jim Fulmer, the base manager for Snow King Ski Area and former ski patroller, announced his candidacy today. Fulmer will mount a write-in challenge to incumbent Mark Barron, who had been unopposed.

Fulmer is almost certain to gain the 25 write-in votes needed to place his name on the ballot for the general election in November.

In a press release, he cited opposition to the new Comprehensive Plan as his chief motivation for running against Barron.

“I respect the service that my friend, the honorable Mayor Mark Barron, has given to our town; however, I feel that it is time for the focus of the town government to be on the quality of life for the citizens of our town,” he said.

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Posted under Politics, Ski Resorts, Town Government

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stop sign vote Tuesday

By Jim Stanford on February 20, 2012

Comments: 6 Comments

Update 7:20 p.m. 2/21: Victory! (for now) The council voted 4-0 (with Bob Lenz absent) to put off the resolution till a public open house can be held this spring on the Snow King corridor. See the comments for more info.

Flat Creek crossing.

Mayor Mark Barron‘s controversial plan to remove stop signs from three intersections on Snow King Avenue faces a final vote when the Jackson Town Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The council will vote on a resolution to change four-way stops to two-way at Flat Creek Drive, Millward Street and Cache Drive. The signs would be removed this spring.

Of all the public comment the council has received, either at meetings or in writing, not one person has advocated for removing the signs.

Passage is not assured. Councilor Mark Obringer, who voted in favor of drafting the resolution last month, has said he will reconsider his support.

That means the vote likely will be decided by councilors Melissa Turley and Greg Miles, who in the past have advocated for pedestrian and cyclist safety. Bob Lenz was the lone councilor to vote against the measure.

Not only will removing the stop signs possibly lead to higher speeds and increased danger for nonmotorized travel, as Obringer has pointed out, but making Snow King Avenue a busier thoroughfare will erode the character of a residential neighborhood loaded with kids’ amenities, including the fairgrounds, boulder park, Snow King, Amaze’n Maze and Phil Baux Park.

It will, however, save motorists 20 seconds during the evening rush in August.

Click here to send an email to the council.

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council creates Snow King Speedway

By Jim Stanford on February 7, 2012

Comments: 26 Comments

In this simulation provided by an out-of-town consultant, a motorist shaves 6.7 seconds off the drive along Snow King Avenue with a new crossing of Flat Creek.

Like a lost tourist late for the Cache Creek wagon tour, the Jackson Town Council doesn’t seem to know where it’s going, but it’s determined to get there faster.

Twenty seconds faster.

Trying to devise a transportation plan for Snow King Avenue, councilors stepped on the gas last month and, despite public opposition, voted to remove stop signs at three intersections. Four-way stops at Cache Drive, Millward Street and Flat Creek Drive will become two-way, turning Snow King Avenue into an unchecked thruway from Virginian Lane to Snow King Resort.

In doing so, the council placed the needs of motorists ahead of cyclists and pedestrians, choosing speed over neighborhood character and safety. The road cuts through a residential area chock full of kids’ amenities, including the Amaze’n Maze, Teton Boulder Park, Phil Baux Park, Snow King Ski Area, King Tubes and Teton County Fairgrounds.

Moreover, the vote slams into reverse years of progress in making the town streets more conducive to nonmotorized transport.

All for fewer than 20 seconds saved during peak travel times.

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