Welcome to SPET season. Your guide to the 2019 election

JACKSON, Wyo. — The clock is ticking for the 2019 Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) Election.

Election day is officially November 5, but absentee voting started last week. With 10 items on the ballot, there’s a lot of information to digest.

Consider this a roadmap of sorts. The first stop: A 2019 SPET Election Forum hosted by Teton County Library, League of Women Voters, Buckrail, Jackson Hole News & Guide, KHOL 89.1, and WyoFile. The forum, hosted Oct. 9 from 6–8 p.m., will offer representatives from each ballot measure to present their project and answer questions from local media and the public. Each project will also display an interactive information booth.

SPET 101

The Specific Purpose Excise Tax is a 1% sales tax designed to fund local infrastructure projects. If any of the 10 projects on this year’s ballot passes by a majority vote, sales tax in Teton County will remain at 6%. If none of them pass, sales tax will drop to 5% when all of the approved SPET projects from the 2017 election are fully funded.

Voters can vote for any number of the 10 ballot items. They can also vote for none. The number of projects approved will not impact the amount of sales tax paid, but rather the length of time the tax is collected before new projects are presented to voters.

The SPET has been in place since the 1980s and provides approximately $14-$15 million a year.

The 10 ballot items on this year’s ballot total around $77 million. It would take roughly five years to pay for all 10 ballot items at the current collection rate should they all pass.

How to vote

Absentee

Absentee voters can actually vote in person at the Teton County Administrative Building until election day. Photo: Buckrail

Absentee voting for SPET 2019 started Sept. 26. Voters can vote absentee for any reason between now and election day. Absentee voters can apply for a ballot in person at the Teton County Administration Building, in writing, via email, or by telephone anytime during an election year except on election day. The fastest way is to fill out this form and email it to [email protected]. You can also mail it to the Teton County Clerk, P.0. Box 1727 Jackson, WY 83001.

Teton County voters can also vote absentee at the county’s absentee polling site, located in the basement of the Teton County Administration Building. The polling site will be open Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sept. 26 until November 4. The absentee polling site will NOT be open on Election Day. Voters must vote at a designated vote center on election day.

All absentee ballots must be received in the Clerk`s Office by 7 p.m. on the day of the election to be counted.

On election day

Come November 5, voters must vote at one of two designated polling sites. Voters can vote at either site regardless of where in Teton County they live. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. November 5.

Teton County Library

125 Virginian Ln., Jackson

Old Wilson Schoolhouse Community Center
5655 Main Street, Wilson

The Ballot

This is each project as it will appear on the 2019 ballot, in the order it will appear:

  1. Town of Jackson Downtown Water Quality Improvement Infrastructure – Cache Creek Project

$2,000,000.00 for acquiring land, obtaining easements, planning, designing, engineering and constructing the Cache Creek Project. This project includes updating the half-mile tube that runs under downtown Jackson to protect and improve stormwater quality prior to its entering Flat Creek, as well as preventing uncontrolled and untreated discharge of potentially polluted run-off into Flat Creek.

This project is sponsored by the Town of Jackson.

  1. Core Services Vehicle Maintenance Facility

$18,500,000.00 for planning, designing, engineering, and constructing a Core Services Vehicle Maintenance Facility, to service and maintain critical response and general use vehicles of Teton County and the Town of Jackson. These include, but are not limited to, snowplows, street maintenance vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, water/sewer maintenance vehicles, and buses. Any unexpended funds, including any unused contingency funds, shall be placed into a designated account, the principal and interest of which shall be used for operations and maintenance of the Core Services Vehicle Maintenance Facility.

This project is sponsored by the Town of Jackson.

  1. Teton County Courthouse 

$2,000,000.00 for the purpose of planning, designing, engineering, site preparation, and preliminary construction costs for a new or renovated Teton County Courthouse. The funds may also be used for immediate security improvements to the existing Teton County Courthouse.

This project is sponsored by Teton County.

  1. “Road to Zero Waste” Infrastructure Improvements at the Teton County Recycling Center and the Teton County Composting Facility.

$2,500,000.00 for planning, designing, engineering, purchasing and constructing infrastructure improvements at both the Teton County Recycling Center and the Teton County Composting Facility. These are needed to boost the waste diversion rate from its current 34% to the community’s goal of 60%by 2030. Specifically, the funds will be used to construct a covered outdoor area of residential bins, to construct sorting system infrastructure, and to install a truck scale at the Teton County Recycling Center; and to construct a food waste sorting system at the Teton County Composting Facility.

This project is sponsored by Teton County.

  1. Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Wildland Firefighting Apparatus Replacement

$1,600,000.00 for the purchase of four (4) wildland firefighting engines.

This project is sponsored by Teton County.

  1. Gregory Lane – Street, Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure, and Safe Route to School

$8,500,000.00 for acquiring land, obtaining easements, planning, engineering, designing and constructing the Gregory Lane complete street, water, sewer, and stormwater project. Improvements to the Gregory Lane area are needed for safety, sidewalks, vehicle access, and snow/stormwater drainage. Improvements include but are not limited to sidewalks and other safety features to assist students going to school; water, stormwater, and sewer infrastructure; rebuilding the existing roadway with curb and gutter; widening Gregory Lane; and driveway approaches.

This project is sponsored by the Town of Jackson.

  1. Community Housing Opportunities

$5,500,000.00 for the purchase of appropriately zoned land to develop permanently deed restricted housing thereon and/or the purchase of deed restrictions to house the local workforce. Funds will be placed in the Jackson/Teton County Housing Authority Housing Supply account. The Jackson Town Council and the Teton County Board of County Commissioners must authorize and direct the expenditure of these funds.

This project is sponsored by Teton County.

  1. History Museum Building – Genevieve Block

$4,400,000.00 for the purchase of land for the locating of a Historical Museum upon portions of the property known as 135 and 175 East Broadway Avenue (the Café Genevieve Block). Following the purchase, the remaining funds will be used for relocation of historic structures and artifacts, including the rehabilitation of those structures, construction of one or more new structures and related site improvements on the site, and designing, planning, engineering, constructing, and/or furnishing of the Historical Museum building and site. In the event the Café Genevieve Block property is not acquired and approved for location of a Historical Museum, the funds will be used for the purchase and development of land, relocation and rehabilitation of historic structures and construction of one or more new structures and related site improvements, at such alternative location as may be approved jointly by the Jackson Town Council and Teton County Board of County Commissioners.

This project is sponsored by Teton County

  1. Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center Expansion and Renovation, Community Climbing Gym, King Street Extension, and Stormwater Treatment.

$22,000,000.00 for designing, planning, engineering, construction, and equipping the renovation and expansion of the Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center. The renovation and expansion includes an additional gymnasium, indoor walking/running track, indoor climbing gym, wellness and fitness opportunities, outdoor aquatics splash pad, general youth-to-senior recreational amenities, associated building infrastructure, King Street extension, storm-water management systems, and associated site parking, multimodal circulation and landscaping. Any unexpended funds, including any unused contingency funds, shall be placed into a designated account, the principal and interest of which shall be used for operations and maintenance of the Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center.

This project is sponsored by Teton County.

  1. Wildlife Crossings

$10,000,000.00 for purchasing land, obtaining easements, planning, designing, and constructing wildlife crossing structures of various types and locations identified in the Teton County Wildlife Crossings Master Plan. The funds may also be used to provide other measures to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, including but not limited to, signage, safe lighting, wildlife detection systems, fencing, and other protective measures.

This project is sponsored by Teton County.

 

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