SWEETWATER COUNTY– The Jamestown-Rio Vista Water and Sewer District presented their sewer line project to the Sweetwater County Commissioners Tuesday morning as a potential county sponsored Special Purpose Tax project.
The sewer line would approximately extend from the Gaensslen Ranch area to Green River, reaching the water treatment facility, Kael Jasperson, Vice Chairman of the Jamestown-Rio Vista Water and Sewer District Board of Directors said.
According to the Jamestown-Rio Vista Water and Sewer District board, the projected total cost of the project would be $7,540,000.
Just over a year ago, the district routed and installed a water supply line within this same corridor, which will minimize the potential costs of exploring geotechnical issues of installing the sewer line, Jasperson explained.
Jasperson said that depending on growth in the area, the sewer line could potentially serve 1500 people, both residents and developers.
Jasperson acknowledged that as a board, the water district does not have any standing in the 6th penny tax without an endorsement. Therefore, he hoped that the county would find the project important enough to sponsor it.
As development begins to occur, Jasperson said the developers will be responsible for constructing collection systems within their development. However, the water district would have the mains that the developers could attach to.
Without the means of transporting the waste, the developer would have to be concerned about the issue of dealing with waste water, which could deter developers from coming to the area.
“It’s just not cost effective and that’s why the development in that area has stalled,” Jasperson said.
He added that since the water supply line has been installed, water consumption is going to go up, and the need for transporting waste water is increasing.
Jasperson sees agreements with developers in the future in which a portion of the revenue that comes from fees from using the districts resources would be rebated back to the developers to compensate them for their original investment. However, he said this portion of the project will not generate revenue to collect.
“This proposal creates the avenue in which we can collect the waste water and get it to the City of Green River,” Jasperson said.
Jasperson said his understanding is that the Wyoming Business Council’s maximum grant for projects like these is $3,000. That could help cover the smaller collection systems that will be built for developers, but it doesn’t much for this portion of the project.
The commissioners asked what Love’s Travel Stop is planning for their sewage. Jasperson said they are planning to have a pressurized underground system. However, he pointed out that the pressurized waste water has to go somewhere eventually.
“We will have no control over where it goes. Ten years ago, if I had been in this discussion with this board I would have said we can either fund it or we can continue doing our business, and it ultimately is going to end up in your drinking water. That today is not the case, it’s also our drinking water,” Jasperson said.
Commissioner Chairman Wally Johnson said he agrees the area is prime for development.
Jasperson said if the sewer line is placed, it will benefit not only the Jamestown area, but also the entire county, in terms of increasing development and therefore revenue.
“Whatever is good for us is obviously going to be good for the county,” Jasperson said.