Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes

Julie Mathews named new police chief


January 10, 2019

Julie Mathews was officially appointed Chief of the Thermopolis Police Department following a 4-1 vote at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Thermopolis Town Council. Council member Dusty Lewis had the one “no” vote.

The appointment of the new police chief has generated some buzz around town since the general election, when Mike Chimenti was voted the new Mayor of Thermopolis, and former police chief Steve Shay announcing his retirement.Tuesday marked the final day of Shay as chief and Mike Mortimore as mayor.

Shortly following Chimenti’s swearing in alongside council members Tony Larson and John Dorman Sr. — both interim board members who were voted on for another term — Chimenti announced his appointment of the new police chief.

Mathews’ appointment will be for a two- year term, after which the position would be up for review. Chimenti said the appointment of a police chief has been discussed several times and the conclusion was that it would be beneficial to the town and council to make the official appointment Tuesday rather than wait for months that would put the department short a dispatcher.

Council member Lewis said he would like to see the process played out more and some interviews done, if only to allow time for him to get to know Mathews better.

Other appointments included: Pinnacle Bank, Big Horn Federal, Bank of Thermopolis and Central Bank and Trust as town depositories; the Thermopolis Independent Record as the official town publication; Tracey Van Heule as clerk/treasurer; Ron Jurovich as municipal judge; Mike Messenger as town attorney; and Engineering Associates as town engineers.

Also approved at the meeting was a pay estimate of $15,000 to Wilson Brothers, the firm that worked on the recent water line project. The estimate covers four service saddles and some asphalt not caught in previous pay estimates.

January 22 was approved as the next town council meeting date. Mayor’s Assistant Fred Crosby noted the typical schedule for meetings is the first and third Tuesday of the month, however, the first meet- ing was rescheduled due to the New Year holiday.

Crosby further pointed out January has five Tuesdays so moving the Jan. 15 meeting back a week wouldn’t hurt any- thing, and having two meetings close together would be a bit pointless. The regular meeting schedule will resume in February.

Also during the meeting, Director of Public Works reported Wyoming Machinery came and picked up the track loader from the landfill. He further reported a rail was lost on one of the pumps at the state park lift station, “so we are running on one pump. Kind of a dangerous situation but we are working on that.”

Crosby and Chimenti com- mended former mayor Mike Mortimore’s letter of support in regard to the Wyoming Retire- ment Center and the Pioneer Home and his willingness to work with the Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM), which has is part of the negotiations with the two facilities.

Lewis reported he serves on a Big Horn Basin recreation/outdoor collaborative, and it addresses a trickle down effect from Cheyenne to get more recreation in the basin. The Bureau of Land Management, he noted, is entering the second phase of developing a hiking and biking trail west of Sage Valley and the state park is getting a trail out for bid with production hopefully starting in the spring around T Hill.

Lewis also said a non-profit is being formed in Thermopolis, called the Hot City Outdoor Alliance, to try and generate some funds for such projects.


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