Missing a chair
CCIJPB mourns loss of chairman, hears water bill and construction payment concerns
September 19, 2018
The September meeting of the Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board (CCIJPB) was a somber one, taking place just a week after the untimely passing of JPB Chairman Donnie Price. Beginning shortly after 6 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Saratoga Town Hall, vice-chairman Craig Kopasz lead the meeting after saying a few words about Price.
“First off, I want to say something about Donnie. It was just a horrible accident and, honestly, it’s just awful. I know a lot of people here were close with him and he’ll be missed deeply across the whole town,” said Kopasz.
Price first joined the CCIJPB in 2008 and became chairman in 2012. While the possibility of election of officers was suggested on the agenda, all members of the board agreed that doing that so soon after the passing of Price was not something they were interested in. For the time being, Kopasz will direct the meetings of the CCIJPB as vice-chairman.
While the meeting lasted a little over 30 minutes, the board took care of several items of business including an item from the public as well as discussed the notification of final payment for American West, the company that oversaw the recently completed lagoon project.
Saratoga resident Russ Prehn addressed the board concerning a leak he had discovered on his property between two residential structures. Prehn told the board that his water bill, which historically was about $100 a month, had been just over $400 last month due to the leak and was requesting a reduction on his bill.
“I’ve heard of others getting pardoned,” said Prehn.
Saratoga Town Council representative Richard Raymer, however, stated that he was unaware of any water user having a reduction on their bill due to a water leak. Raymer added he had paid his own water bill following a leak. After further discussion, it was decided that because the leak was on Prehn’s property he would be required to pay the bill.
Another issue to come before the board was a letter from Jon Nelson, project manager for American West Construction, concerning final payment in regards to the completed lagoon project. A notice of final payment that was published in the Saratoga Sun on Sept. 5 and 12 referenced Wyoming Statute 15-1-113, which regulates public notice of any bid in excess of $35,000. The public notice should have, according to Kopasz, referenced Wyoming Statute 16-6-116 which regulates notices for final payment to a contractor.
“The state statute that was referenced in the final payment is not the one that I am familiar with. The 41 day advertisement references 16-6-116. That basically says you have to publish three times … it begins the first date of publication and it goes 40 days and then can be paid on the 41st day,” said Kopasz.
While the legal notice will have to be run again, the board did approve payments of $25,581.49 and $17,153.76 to American West for the construction of the pole barn. These two payments, according to Kopasz, covered all expenses to American West except for the retainage. The retainage will not be able to be paid until American West has paid all subcontractors, in this case Custom Builders, for work done during the project.
“We cannot pay American West the retainage until Rory (Grubb) is paid, until Custom Builders is paid. Once the final notice is published and approved, that’s when Rory would have time to file a claim on American West if he did not get paid,” Kopasz said.
The board, however, did not see any indication of American West failing to pay Custom Builders for the subcontracted work.
The next meeting of the Carbon Count Impact Joint Powers Board will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Saratoga Town Hall.