The Saratoga Sun -

Examining the impacts

Town of Saratoga to request $200,000 for impacts from Gateway South Project


August 26, 2020

After the August 24 workshop held at Saratoga Town Hall, the Town of Saratoga will submit an initial request of approximately $200,000 for expected impacts from the Gateway South Transmission Line.

In an hour long workshop between the Saratoga Town Council, Saratoga-Carbon County Impact Joint Powers Board (SCCIJPB) and the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) impact requests included a bulk water fill station, supplies for the SVFD and replacing or repairing the water system in the changing rooms at the Saratoga Hobo Pool.

Despite the, relatively, short meeting at least half of it saw Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Keel admonished by Councilmember Jon Nelson and Councilmember D’Ron Campbell and SCCIJPB Chairman Richard Raymer for what Keel called an error.

“I got an email this morning from a commissioner that the Town of Saratoga’s already requested $1.95 million in this deal after you told us the other night there’s been no request made,” said Raymer.

Saratoga Town Clerk, Suzie Cox, stated that, following a meeting with Keel in which the two went through the paperwork for the Gateway South Project, she had accidentally submitted the paperwork to the county. Keel, throughout the questions from Campbell and Nelson, reiterated the same thing; that the request for $1.95 million had been an accident and had been referenced from the Gateway West Impact requests made under previous council. 

Keel added that, though he knew the packet existed, he wasn’t sure at the time of the August 18 meeting that it had been sent out.

“I acknowledge I made a mistake. I called the Carbon County Clerk’s Office. I acknowledged that mistake, they told me we had time to work with this and I’m sitting here trying to get your guys’ suggestions on what we need to do to get your requests in there,” said Keel.

“So if you knew that misinformation was out there, why were we not informed?” asked Campbell.

Campbell added that a concern of hers was that Keel knew about the packet, had called the Carbon County Clerk’s Office but had not informed the rest of the council about the issue. 

“What I did tell the council is that I had called the county office, talked to them about the information and they were comfortable with it,” Keel said. “I didn’t feel like the discrepancy was something that had to be put out here because I corrected it.”

“Everybody has seen this, with $1.949 (million) on it,” said Nelson. “Wamsutter, for example, emailed me and said how is it that Saratoga has an impact that’s larger than what we calculated for Wamsutter when Wamsutter’s going to have a 40 acre yard and staging area based within their town limits?”

Following the nearly 30 minute discussion, in which Keel apologized multiple times for the error, the three entities set to work on laying out their impacts. In the case of the SCCIJPB and SVFD, this work had already been done. Nelson stated, and Keel confirmed, that information had been sent to him the week prior. Additional discussion saw the Town of Saratoga add the Saratoga Hobo Pool and the impact of increased population.

The request for proposed impacts from the Gateway South Project were as follows:

•The SVFD requested a Float-A-Pump at a total of $3,672

•The SVFD also requested four radios at total of $8,950

•The SCCIJPB’s request for funding to build a bulk water fill station totalled $151,570

•The Town of Saratoga’s water line replacement at the hobo pool totalled $38,500

•The proposed impact on the Town of Saratoga for the expected workers staying in the area came to $5,545.

The total of all requests came to $208,417, far lower than the mistaken $1.95 million that had originally been sent to the county. Whether that amount stays or gets reduced will be dependent upon the special meeting that will have been held at 4 p.m. on August 25 at the Platte Valley Community.


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