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County agrees to use signs near 1 percent tax projects

May 23, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Giant neon-green pennies will pop up all over Fremont County in the next few years.

The Fremont County Commission this month agreed to use bright, 2-foot circular signs to advertise projects funded by the optional 1 percent sales tax.

Riverton and Lander city councils are considering using the same design. Riverton civil engineer and former Fix Our Roads political action committee treasurer Kyle Lehto designed the sign and brought it to the commissioners meeting.

"In my opinion, it's a responsibility of the municipalities and governments to let the citizenry know where their tax funds are going towards," Lehto said.

The signs depict a figure working and say "Our Tax Dollars at Work, 1% Optional Sales Tax, Penny Power."

Each sign would be about $260, Lehto said. Installation would add to the price.

Commissioners Keja Whiteman, Stephanie Kessler and Doug Thompson said they supported the idea.

"I think it's always a good idea to let people know where their money's going," Whiteman said.

Commissioner Larry Allen could not attend the meeting for family reasons, and commissioner Travis Becker was in Cheyenne to lobby for a State Lands Investment Board grant for the Riverton justice center.

"It sounds like we agree to use them as we go along," Thompson said to Fremont County transportation director Dave Pendleton.

The "penny power" signs first came up at the Fremont County Association of Governments meeting May 9. Local government leaders said constituents were worried 1 percent sales tax funds would pay for the signs.

FCAG agreed to support the design on Jan. 10.

Mayors Mick Wolfe of Lander, Gary Hamlin of Pavillion and Ron Warpness of Riverton said if their municipalities used the "penny power" design, the cost would come from their regular budgets and not from the special tax.

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