Commissioners to Narrow Down County Projects for Potential Specific Purpose Tax

Commissioners to Narrow Down County Projects for Potential Specific Purpose Tax

SWEETWATER COUNTY — The Sweetwater County Commission will discuss the county’s projects for the potential Specific Purpose Tax initiative during its meeting Tuesday.

The Commission will meet Tuesday, June 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the Sweetwater County Courthouse in Green River.

An $85 million Specific Purpose Tax initiative will be on the ballots this coming November. Commissioner Schoenfeld said the tax would be paid off in five years. However, she noted that if there was an increase with tax revenues, it would paid off in shorter period of time.

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According to the Commission, the tax will be used to fund infrastructure needs, rather than infrastructure wants or other projects such as quality of life projects. With this in mind, the Commission will be selecting the projects they would like to sponsor for the county’s portion of the funds.

During the last Commission meeting, Commissioner Schoenfeld listed the recommended percentages of funding each municipality would receive based on the $86 million total. The percentages were determined using population, and to ensure Baroil, Superior, and Granger receive full funding for their top priority infrastructure projects. The following are the recommended percentages:

  • Bairoil- 2.6 percent
  • County- 25.57 percent
  • Granger- 2.8 percent
  • GR- 23.53 percent
  • RS-38.42 percent
  • Superior- 2.2 percent
  • Wamsutter- 4.8 percent

Five projects have been proposed to the county for them to sponsor including a lab expansion at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County for $6.2 million, a water line at the Sweetwater Events Complex for $1.2 million, and a request for seven ambulances for Castle Rock Ambulance Services for $2.14 million. 

There is also a request from North Sweetwater Water and Sewer District for $6.2 million to replace a 40 year old decaying 3-inch clay sewer collection pipes and to rebuild the sewer ponds that don’t currently meet health and environmental standards. The final request is for a sewer trunk line replacement from Jamestown- Rio Vista Water and Sewer District for $6 million to $12 million. 

“That [Jamestown] project could potentially be an ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) fund recipient but I don’t know if they have the structure in place to do so, and I don’t feel that it’s right to be asking our taxpayers to pay for something that potentially could have gotten federal funding if it would have been handled differently in the beginning,” Commissioner Schoenfeld said during the last meeting.

However, Commissioner Randy “Doc” Wendling said that the Jamestown project would not only benefit the Jamestown community but Green River as well in terms of business expansion.

Wendling also questioned whether the Castle Rock and hospital requests could fit under infrastructure.

“How does ambulance and hospital expansion fit into infrastructure if they’re capital projects, and the other people have cut those back but we haven’t? So that concerns me,” Wendling said.

He added that while the Events Complex project is important, there is a question of whether their water line is more important than the water needs of whole municipalities.

Commissioner Schoenfeld said that if the county cuts back on their projects, this will also free up more funds for other municipalities.

The discussion over the county’s projects will continue Tuesday. It is scheduled to take place at around 10:55 a.m. For more information on the proposed tax projects, see below:

To view the full meeting agenda, click here. To view the full meeting packet, click here.