County approves minor redistricting

By Amanda Manchester, Herald Reporter
Posted 5/15/24

EVANSTON — During the county commission meeting on May 7, at the Uinta County Complex, retired Public Health Nurse Patricia Arnold was re-appointed to the Healthcare Council Trust Board.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

County approves minor redistricting


EVANSTON — During the county commission meeting on May 7, at the Uinta County Complex, retired Public Health Nurse Patricia Arnold was re-appointed to the Healthcare Council Trust Board.

Uinta County Clerk Amanda Hutchinson requested the approval of a one-year lease agreement for Fort Bridger Airport hangar No. 5. The commissioners permitted the contract, thus all hangars at the airport are now currently rented.

Hutchinson segued to propose a voting district change. The south side of Bear River Drive falls within House District 19, specifically areas 1-3-2 and 1-4. Hutchinson advocated for the redistricting by explaining that the current split “reveals who people vote for,” but that there is not a need to reconfigure the allowances for the number of precinct men and women “because so few people live there.”

Hutchinson asked commissioners to approve the voting district suggestion and the precinct boundary and continuance of the current statutory formula.

“I wanted to do this in 2022,” she said. “[Previous] legislators made these splits, and we’re living with it. I intended to change it, then realized it was too late to run public notice for two weeks, I could have pushed it through quietly, but in an effort to be transparent, we’re doing it now.”

Resident Lisa Beachell voiced her concerns about committee member representation once the districts were merged.

“What about the Evanston Inn?” she inquired, explaining that the units have become long-term rentals, “and Phillips RV park … there are more voters in that area.”

“It could affect future re-elections, but the turnout in 2022 was much lower,” Hutchinson said, admitting that the number of precinct men and women could change in 2026 based on this year’s election turnout. 

Beachell asked how many voters would change the number of allowable committee men and women.

“It would take a lot,” Hutchinson said, before explaining that one representative is allowed for every 250 voters or less, and a second representative would require another 126 voters. Hutchinson said she believed there would be about a difference of about seven voters upon redistricting.

Beachell asked whether party leaders Republican Chair Joy Bell, Democratic Chair Tim Beppler and Jeff Haggit with the Constitution party were informed about the district changes. Hutchinson confirmed that they had each received certified letters and that there was no further requirement to notify additional committee men and women.

Hutchinson also explained that people running for office will file their intents based on the new boundaries beginning this year.

Gilbert Olson asked about the number of apartment dwellers in the area. Hutchinson confirmed that “there are less than 10.”

Olson also asked about the timing of the redistricting, wondering if it was legal to do outside of a census year. Hutchinson again asserted that the redistricting was legal based on current statutes.


“I’m optimistic that this will happen, and I have letters on my desk now ready to notify voters right away,” Hutchinson said in response to Beachell’s concern that voters weren’t aware of the changes.

Commission Chair Mark Anderson was initially concerned about the potential hardship of voting location changes and the confusion that might incur from the redistricting, but Hutchinson clarified that was not a factor. She said voting locations would remain the same, and that “1-3-2 and 1-4 have the same ballots anyway.”  The commissioners ultimately approved Hutchinson’s requests.

Uinta County Environmental Services representative Ron Taylor was seeking approval of acceptance of $45,000 Wyoming Emergency Grant funds to help support the county’s mosquito abatement program. The funding will particularly assist in targeting the Culex Tarsalis mosquito, which carries the West Nile virus. 

Taylor explained that the program costs up to $300,000 annually.

“It’s a huge county expense to deal with these buggers,” Commissioner Brent Hatch said before the commission agreed to accept the grant.