Commissioners Decide on 6th Penny Allocations

Commissioners Decide on 6th Penny Allocations

SWEETWATER COUNTY– The Sweetwater County Commissioners allocated the proposed 6th penny funds to the county entities and municipalities on Tuesday.

At the last commissioner meeting, the commissioner voted to cap the proposed 6th penny tax at $80 million. Their task on Tuesday was to allocate the $80 million to the different entities.

The commissioners took population and the cost of priority projects into consideration when deciding on how much each entity would get. They also noted they added some extra money to some of the smaller communities, as they have necessary projects and it is difficult for smaller communities to get funding.

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To take a closer look at the original requests, click here.

The final numbers presented and approved are as follows:

  • Superior- $1.52 million
    • Original request: $1,510,000 million
    • Covers all of Superior’s proposed projects- Drill a new well and add a drip system at the town’s sewer lagoon.
  • Bairoil- $1.27 million
    • Original request: $4,353,157.98
    • Will cover their priority project: Updating their water and sewer lines.
  • Granger- $1.9 mllion
    • Original request: $11,712,000
    • Will cover their priority projects: Hams Fork River extension and 9.8 miles of drinking water intake pipeline (the current water line is over 40 years old).
  • Wamsutter- $2.75 million
    • Original request: $18,173,566
    • Will cover their priority project: Repairing of the industrial loop.
  • Green River- $18.56 million
    • Original request: $39,200,000
    • Will cover some costs of infrastructure improvements.
  • Rock Springs- $29 million
    • Original request: $42,410,000 (including sponsored projects)
    • Will cover most of their projects (not including sponsored projects)
  • Sweetwater County- $25 million (sponsored entities/projects)
    • Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County: $7.8 million
      • Will cover the reconstruction of the operating room and replacing the HVAC system.
    • Sweetwater Events Complex: $6.7 million
      • Will cover the water system redundancy and the expansion of the exhibit hall.
    • Reliance- North Sweetwater Water & Sewer District: $3 million
      • Will cover improvements on sewer collection system and lagoon.
    • Jamestown-Rio Vista Water & Sewer District: $7.5 million
      • Will cover the cost to place a sewer line from the Gaensslen Ranch area to Green River.

Adjustments to the Green River and Wamsutter Allocations

Chairman Randy Wendling, Commissioner Lauren Schoenfeld, and Commissioner Wally Johnson all voted to approve the above amounts, while Commissioner Roy Lloyd voted against.

Lloyd said he agreed with the amounts and was proud of the work the board had done, but he would have liked to see Green River get more funds. He suggested Green River be given at least $20 million, however Commissioner Johnson disagreed.

Schoenfeld first had the amount for Wamsutter at $5 million, but Commissioner Johnson said that was too much.

Wamsutter recently received impact funds from the Transwest Pipeline, and therefore, Johnson said they did not need $5 million.

“It’s too much money for them,” Johnson said.

Commissioner Lloyd said he wanted to give them enough funding to cover their priority project, which is the repairing of the industrial loop.

The commissioners agreed to take $2.25 million off of Wamsutter’s allocation and give it to Green River.

County Sponsored Projects

Wendling, Schoenfeld, and Johnson all voted to approve the amounts for the county’s projects, while Commissioner Lloyd voted no.

The commissioners all agreed on the amounts for the hospital and the events complex, however, some contention came up regarding the water and sewer district projects.

Lloyd said he struggled with giving Jamestown and Reliance more funds than Wamsutter, a whole community. He noted that the water and sewer districts are important and worthy of funding, however, he said they started with over $200 million worth of important projects.

Showing the Public the Benefit of a 6th Penny Tax

Commissioner Lloyd said getting public support for the 6th penny tax is crucial. He said a way they can do this is by putting up signage and plaques on 6th penny projects to show that the tax goes to something that benefits them.

“We have to make sure the public knows what projects were funded with the special purpose tax,” Lloyd said. “We have to make sure they see how it’s valuable to them.”

The commissioner started conversations on Tuesday with a company out of Denver to help market the 6th penny projects and figure out how is best to present them on the ballot.

They also discussed bonding the projects.