News Roundup: Jackson has new strategy for representation in Cheyenne

Plus, Stilson Transit Center is a step closer to major upgrades, and Gov. Mark Gordon set energy production as a top priority for Wyoming.
Stilson Transit Center will soon include an indoor facility, more parking spaces, covered bike parking and electric vehicle charging. (Courtesy of Jorgensen)

 

Jackson hires former state representative as lobbyist 

The Jackson Town Council has a new strategy for getting its voice heard in Cheyenne. Councilmembers hired former state representative Andy Schwartz. He’ll serve as the town’s first legislative advisor during the lawmaking session, which kicked off this week.

“The problems that the council is dealing with here are not problems that most of the other communities in the state are dealing with, and they need to be addressed,” Schwartz said. “It’s imperative that they don’t get overruled by actions in Cheyenne.”

Schwartz referred to issues such as high property taxes. Getting tax relief for residents is a top priority for the town as home values hit record highs. 

“It’s causing an exodus of longtime residents,” Schwartz said. “It’s making it harder to bring people in.”

Schwartz represented Teton County’s House District 23 for eight years and stepped down last year. He said he’ll use his connections to help Jackson advocate for measures like property tax relief.

County inches closer to breaking ground on Stilson Transit Center

Mountain-goers will soon have more opportunities to take the bus. The Stilson Transit Center, which functions as a park-and-ride for people going to Teton Village, is one step closer to getting a major upgrade. 

Teton County presented the plans to community members this week. Assistant Public Works Director Johnny Ziem said people were excited.

“I think most people get it, like the current facilities that we have there now just really are inadequate for providing a high level experience to people who are riding the bus,” Ziem said.

Currently, Stilson is just a gravel parking lot. But, thanks to a federal grant, it’ll soon include an indoor transit center, more parking spaces, covered bike parking and electric vehicle charging. 

“The end game is getting people out of single occupancy vehicles,” Ziem said. 

The project is slated to be completed by 2025.

Community members can still give feedback here.

Wyoming Governor sets energy production as top priority

​​This story comes through a content-sharing partnership with Wyoming Public Media.

Governor Mark Gordon held his State of the State address on Jan. 11, and he focused a lot on energy.

There was an apparent Wyoming versus the federal government mentality in Gordon’s speech. 

“It’s no exaggeration that the Biden administration appears more interested in partnering with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela than they are with Wyoming,” Gordon said.

Gordon was referencing America’s partnerships with foreign countries for oil and gas. In his opinion, energy production in Wyoming should be ramped up. However, domestic crude oil production is at an almost all time high right now. 

Gordon emphasized the state needs to make its own energy decisions as much as possible. He encouraged lawmakers to support a bill that’d allow Wyoming — instead of the feds — to regulate the rare earth mineral industry in the state.

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About Hanna Merzbach

Hanna is KHOL's reporter and producer. She hails from Bend, Oregon, where she wrote about housing and the impacts of climate change. Her work has been published in the Atlantic, High Country News and Oregon Public Broadcasting. In her free time, you can find Hanna scaling rock walls or adventuring in the mountains. Follow Hanna on Twitter @HannaMerzbach.

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