Tapping into town services
Water and sewer joint powers board hears from healthcare project, forwards tap application onto council
December 18, 2019
The Platte Valley Healthcare Project (PVHP) appeared before the Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board (CCIJPB) during their regular meeting on Dec. 11 to present plans and request sponsorship from the joint powers board. Following their purchase of property between the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Whistle Pig, the non-profit group is moving forward with their intent to establish infrastructure for the proposed critical access hospital.
During that same meeting, the CCIJPB forwarded a water tap application from Saratoga resident Randy Stevens to the Saratoga Town Council. The application was for property along Hugus Ditch that has been the center of legal battles between Stevens and the Town of Saratoga.
PVHP Chairman Will Faust informed the CCIJPB of the group’s recent purchase and that they were currently working with the Carbon County government and the planning commission to subdivide the recently purchased property. Faust then turned the discussion over to Craig Kopasz of Engineering Associates, who also serves as the vice-chairman of the joint powers board.
Kopasz informed the members of the joint powers board that the first option being considered by the PVHP in regards to services for the North Platte Valley Medical Center would be to tie into the existing sewer line for the USFS. This, Kopasz explained, would require that the lift station be replaced. Option two involved a new sewer line installed along the highway and tied into the system at the bottom of the hill. Option three would be to tie into the new lift station that had been installed for the USFS water and sewer project.
According to Kopasz, however, Town of Saratoga employee Chuck McVey had expressed concern about the poor condition of the sewer line. There was also the issue of the area being a bottleneck for sewer services and causing issues with residential homes near the USFS.
“From our group’s perspective, we have some real budget constraints that we’re trying to stick to, but we want to be mindful that there’s been a locked door on expansion on that side of town because … property utilities were not put out there in the first place. Our intent would be is if there’s any way we could work with the water and sewer joint powers board to secure some sort of funding, we can use what’s in our budget for utility improvements for matching funds.”
Kopasz further informed the joint powers board that there was possibly funding available from the Wyoming Business Council to extend and improve utilities. That funding, however, could only be made available if there was a letter of support from the CCIJPB. The joint powers board voted unanimously to provide a letter of support to the PVHP to be presented to the Wyoming Business Council for funding.
Tap Into It
Another item discussed by the CCIJPB was the water tap application presented to the board by Stevens. The application requested that the meter pit be placed on Stevens’ property. CCIJPB member Roger Cox raised a concern about this request, stating that meter pits were placed on town property and not on private property. Another issue raised in regards to the tap was the possibility that the line would need to be bored under Hugus Ditch and could affect the integrity of the waterway.
As discussion continued, Jon Nelson, town council representative, read from the municipal code. The Town of Saratoga ordinances read that placement of the meter pit and tap are to be determined by the Saratoga Town Council.
When asked by CCIJPB member Joe Parsons if all the legal issues between the Town of Saratoga and Stevens were resolved, Stevens replied that they were. Cox, however, replied that they weren’t. Before discussion could get heated, however, CCIJPB Chairman Richard Raymer stated that the only thing to be discussed was the water tap application.
Following extended discussion, the joint powers board voted 4-3 to send the application to the Saratoga Town Council for consideration with Raymer casting the tie-breaking vote in affirmation. It was after the approval of the application, however, that Cox pointed out that the application by Stevens was incomplete.
Raymer asked Nelson to bring the incomplete application up to the council during consideration of approval.
The next meeting of the CCIJPB will be at 6 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2020 at Saratoga Town Hall.