News May 14, 2019

Councilman Says TVA Not Paying Its Fair Share

by Jackson Hole Radio News

At least one town councilman thinks Teton Village is getting a free ride on the valley’s transit system.

During a joint town and county budget meeting yesterday, Town Council member Jim Stanford lashed out at the Village and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Stanford said there was a structural problem with the way Teton Village Association paid for START passes which was a development requirement from back in the late 1990’s.

County Commissioner Greg Epstein reminded the group that the county is trying to alleviate traffic by proposing the extra runs.

“What I find frustrating is that you are vilifying this one entity,” Epstein said to Stanford. He noted that sales tax collection was up in town last winter by seven percent but Town businesses were not being singled out to pay for the service.

Commissioner Mark Barron said they were there to work on behalf of all residents and visitors, including ski area workers.

Town Manager Larry Pardee said meetings are scheduled with Teton Village to come to an agreement on future funding. He said that data gathered over the past season will help guide the discussion.

“The demand for service has grown,” Pardee said and he added that it has been a long road with the Town, County, and Teton Village working towards the goal of reducing vehicle traffic on the highway.

Teton County had requested that the Town, who operates START as a department, requested the town add extra funding for the runs to the West Bank and has been funding extra runs this current fiscal year.

If the town declines to fund the extra runs to the village, the county indicated they would consider footing the nearly half-million-dollar bill.