Horse racing slots: Coming to a bar near you

EVANSTON — Public Works Director Clay Baird asked to be added to the agenda at the Uinta County Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The commission approved the agenda with that addition.

The first item of business was the appointment of Rebecca Eastman to the Uinta County Library Board. The commission approved the appointment.

Next on the agenda was Uinta County Clerk Amanda Hutchinson.

“The Board of Equalization agreed with the county assessor in regard to the tax assessment on G&L Rentals,” Hutchinson said. “I am just stating what you already discussed in the work session and you now have the opportunity to publically ratify the assessor’s decision on the tax assessment of G&L Rentals.”

The commission unanimously voted to uphold the assessor’s decision to tax the property of G&L Rentals.

Jill Jarrod with Wyoming Downs asked the commission for approval to approach bars and restaurants with bars about placing horse racing terminals (NRT machines) in their businesses. According to the flyer Jarrod presented, Wyoming Downs staff will service the NRT machines weekly, pay all winning tickets and will do all the IRS paperwork. The bars receive a portion of the bets wagered by their customers.

“The gaming commission oversees and controls the determination and legal authorization of the sites. They are selected site by site; it is not a blanket approval. Their standards are extremely high. This would be a tax boost for the county. Just this past year, Wyoming Downs paid $96,500 in taxes to Uinta County and the Horse Palace paid approximately $91,000 in taxes.”

In response to a question from Commissioner Craig Welling regarding how the machines would be kept away from those under the age of 21 if they were placed in restaurants, Jarrod affirmed that the machines would be kept in a separate room where only persons over the age of 21 could enter.

Resolution 20-28, approving Wyoming Downs, to conduct parimutuel wagering on live horse racing, historic horse racing and simulcast events at existing bars and legally authorized establishments within Uinta County was unanimously approved.

Emergency Management Director Kim West asked the commission to approve Resolution 20-26 and 20-27, both of which are submissions of applications for a coronavirus relief grant to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB/CARES Act).

“These applications were sent in and require a resolution to be ratified in order to receive the funds,” West said.

Both of these grant applications are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will protect the Uinta County Detention Center employees and inmates while conducting essential services. A grant of $318,061 will pay for a door and camera project at the county jail. A grant of $57,519 will help with COVID Project B, which includes three electric-cell check systems; four plastic counter barriers; and two washers and two dryers for disinfecting clothing, blankets, rags and mop heads in the jail.

This grant will also provide plastic counter barriers to separate the attorneys, defendants and jury during a trial; card readers in the sally port; and a rapid notification system for dispatch and deputies. Both resolutions passed unanimously.

Hutchinson addressed the commission to ask for a liquor license transfer for Fiesta Guadalajara.  She explained the existing liquor license is for a restaurant serving liquor and they would now like to transfer that to a full-retail liquor license so they can sell package liquor, as well. Commissioners unanimously approved the request.

Rebecca Eastman, the new human services coordinator, was next on the agenda. Eastman asked commissioners to sign the 2021 CSB grant to be submitted to the Wyoming Department of Health. Eastman provided the commission with a complete itemized budget for how the grant will be dispersed. 

Commissioners unanimously approved and signed the contract with the Wyoming Department of Health.

Baird then addressed the commission regarding the Fort Bridger Airport rehabilitation and improvement project. He said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires the program sponsors to certify that the project met FAA and federal requirements, and the county is satisfied with the results.

Baird discussed the four main requirements for the grant project: the consultant that was selected, the design plans and specification, the construction project and the construction contract — all had to follow federal and FAA standards.

“The construction contract was a little sticky,” Baird said, “as they needed to provide business enterprise data including wages and weekly time sheets. They provided everything, except we didn’t get the time sheets on a weekly basis, but eventually we did get them all.  My recommendation is for approval of the project after you have had time to review it and the county attorney reviews and approves it.”

A motion was made, seconded and approved to have Uinta County Commission Chair Eric South sign the certification of satisfaction with the Fort Bridger Airport project after Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson-Kallas reviews and approves it.



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