Town looks to annex West Broadway from state control Buckrail Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Buckrail - Jackson Hole, news
West Broadway through Town.

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Town and county officials moved a step closer last week toward taking ownership and control of West Broadway Ave where it is within town limits, continuing a process that has been in the works for at least a decade.

Annexing West Broadway would allow the Town of Jackson more control over future design, bidding, and construction management costs. It would also clear up jurisdictional issues on West Broadway where currently Highway Patrol is technically the lead law enforcement agency, meaning town police sometimes have to wait on the state to respond.

WHP Captain Mark Thomas admitted staffing changes and available manpower was a concern to Highway Patrol, and could negatively impact response times. JPD Lt. Cole Nethercott and Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen both commented in favor of the annexation and agreed it would streamline first responder operations on West Broadway.

Elected officials opted to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with WYDOT to join the Urban Systems Program, a cost-sharing program available to municipalities in Wyoming between population sizes 5,000 and 50,000 that that have streets on the highway system. The town could annex Broadway without entering into the program but would then not be eligible for an annual allocation of $175,000 in reimbursement from the state.

The additional cost of maintaining West Broadway to the satisfaction of state standards was estimated by public works director Larry Pardee to be $152,665 per year (to be split 50-50 between town and county), and a one-time purchase of a new snowplow/sander for $255,000 (to also be split evenly between the town and county). Pardee also estimated the town would need to hire an additional three snowplow drivers between November 15 and April 1 every year.

Civic leaders looked at adopting West Broadway as far back as 2007. The idea stalled after some commissioners—including Hank Phibbs and Andy Schwartz—could not find enough benefit to the county or its taxpayers.

It was a unanimous decision by town and county leaders to sign the MOU that would allow the town to annex West Broadway between Flat Creek Bridge and South Park Loop Road. The town public works department would be responsible for maintaining and plowing the road between Flat Creek Bridge and High School Road.