The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 19 - 1/6/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
January 1, 2000 has come and gone, and very little has changed in Sublette County.
The lights stayed on, we all still had water in the morning, and the shelves remained stocked at Faler's. There were, however, a few small indicators that despite assurances all would be fine, Sublette Citizens wanted to be prepared to some extent.
The most obvious indicator was at the gas pumps. Mike and Gwen Schwab of Centerfire 66 reported that they had so many people topping off the gas tank in their cars, they had to order two extra gas shipments. Their propane tank, which had been filled to capacity on December 30th, was down to 30 percent at noon on the 31st. Kerosene was also a big seller.
Flo Retel agrees that lots of people were coming in to top off their gas tanks at Country Lane before the New Year. "It seemed like the whole town filled up," she said, adding that fuel sales were definitely more brisk than usual, even for a weekend.
The bulk fuel markets were also active, according to All American Fuel's Doug Sterck. Mr. Sterck said his sales began to increase as usual in October, as people began to prepare for the long winter. Instead of leveling off in November, sales continued to climb after setting a record in October, and leading to a 110% increase in December sales in comparison to December '98 sales. "It was bonkers," he said. All American had to hire two additional drivers to keep up with demand. The drivers worked 7 days a week, often delivering fuel until midnight. "We had a tough time keeping up," says Mr. Sterck.
Mark Mrak of Kellerstrass Oil, and Rocky Mountain Propane's Rock Piernick, agreed that some customers asked for premature top offs in their fuel tanks, but the ones who seemed to be most concerned were the government agencies, such as the BLM and the Forest Service, who wanted full fuel tanks on January first.
Ron Wilson at Faler's said his store experienced a good run on batteries, lamp oils, and kerosene, as well as milk, but that was the extent of the Y2K related purchasing as far as he could see.
Ridge Larson agreed, saying Faler's had sold several more generators than usual for this time of the year, but he was not entirely sure the battery binge wasn't related simply to holiday gifts requiring batteries.
Importantly, Faler's reports that there wasn't an increase in gun or ammunition sales leading up to the to new year.
The local banks were happily surprised as well. All three Sublette County banks had made contingency plans in case depositors panicked and began to withdraw huge amounts of money.
Ken Transtrum of the First National Bank of Pinedale said that although there was a slightly higher number of withdrawals in December, the amount was no where near what the bank had planned for. When First National opened its doors on Saturday morning, all of the computers booted up, and it was business as usual.
Jeff Patterson at the Bank of Pinedale said his bank also had a contingency plan in place, but the entire Y2K rollover was "a non-event."
Jan Keller credits Community First's depositor education program for keeping their customers up to date on all Y2K developments. Community First had also prepared for the year 2000 and any glitches that may occur for two years. The only thing they were not prepared for was the non-event, she says.
The computer tech support staff at Office Outlet spent lots of time over the past few years answering Y2K questions, and performing upgrades and compliance checks, reports Clint Gilchrist. After all was said and done on New Years' day only 5 minor incidents were reported, primarily involving custom programs and computers which needed to have their dates manually changed to 2000. Clint notes some words that people have used to describe Y2K include : "anticlimactic," "uneventful," and "Yawn2K."
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