Building and billing
CCIJPB hears updates on Saratoga Lake and USFS projects, discusses possible billing issue
October 16, 2019
During the regularly scheduled meeting of the Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board (CCIJPB) on Oct. 9, board members present held discussion on the upcoming Saratoga Lake Campground water and sewer project. Due to abstentions from Vice-Chairman Craig Kopasz and Saratoga Town Council Representative Jon Nelson, discussion was all that could take place as CCIJPB members Joe Parsons, Dave Christman and Russ Waldner were absent.
The CCIJPB also heard updates on the United States Forest Service (USFS) water and sewer project, which has been completed, and discussed a potentially overcharged water bill from 2018.
As parts of Carbon County have prepared for the potential impacts from wind energy construction, the Town of Saratoga requested impact funding from both the Gateway West and TransWest project to be used towards the Saratoga Lake Campground. A sizable portion of the funding, coming from Gateway West, has been earmarked to be used to extend water and sewer services to the Saratoga Lake Campground.
During the most recent meeting, Department of Public Works Director Jon Winter included proposals for the project, which ranged from $150,000 to $370,000 in cost. A concern shared by Nelson with the rest of the board was that one of the projects included a full-time vs. part-time observer for the project with observation done via Skype.
Another concern raised was the total amount of funds combined from the two projects. Impact funds from the Gateway West project for the Saratoga Lake Campground totaled approximately $572,552 while TransWest totaled $165,792 with a combined total of around $739,344. As the board members discussed the project and the proposals, it was agreed upon that there were other projects that were a high priority for the Town of Saratoga.
The CCIJPB felt that the Saratoga Town Council should also discuss the project at their next meeting and provide input.
As was reported previously (see “USFS project nears completion” on page 20 of the Sept. 18 Saratoga Sun), as the water and sewer project originally planned in 2017 between the Town of Saratoga and the USFS neared completion, agreement between the two entitities was still being discussed. At the meeting in September, Brush Creek/Hayden District Ranger Jason Armbruster informed the CCIJPB that the Office of General Counsel was looking over the agreement.
A Memorandum of Understanding was proposed by Armbruster and the CCIJPB agreed it was wise to have the document as discussion took place between the Office of General Counsel and Town of Saratoga legal counsel, Tom Thompson.
At the most recent meeting, Winter informed the joint powers board that Thompson had made some minor modifications to the water use agreement and that it would soon be returned to the Office of General Counsel. Winter also informed the board that he would be meeting with Armbruster to discuss the sewer use agreement in the following days. Both Winter and Armbruster, who was in attendance, informed the board that they hoped to have something to present to the CCIJPB during the November meeting.
In the meantime, the Brush Creek/Hayden District is operational with water and sewer service as the agreement continues to be looked over.
A last minute addition to the agenda, Nelson informed the CCIJPB that he had been contacted by Saratoga resident Mike Capellan about a bill he had received in the summer of 2018. According to Nelson, Capellan had informed him that he had not paid the bill because he believed it was incorrect. Cappellan had also spoken to Ed Glode, who served as mayor at the time, and Councilmember Judy Welton.
Chairman Richard Raymer pointed out that Welton was not serving on the town council at that time.
Capellan’s total bill from the Town of Saratoga showed a charge of over $1,000 with a previous meter reading of 729 and a present meter reading of 476.
Winter informed the joint powers board that he would look into the billing and report back at the next meeting.
The next meeting of the Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Saratoga Town Hall.