Jamestown Rio Vistsa Water District courts financial help from Sweetwater County

Jamestown Rio Vistsa Water District courts financial help from Sweetwater County

GREEN RIVER – There was no official decision made on whether or not the Sweetwater County Commissioners would financially support the Jamestown water district’s move forward.

On Tuesday, Sunrise Engineering returned to the commission to talk more about financial support. Several months ago, the commissioners heard from the Jamestown Rio Vista Board and Sunrise Engineering about the project and how it is finally moving forward after many years and problems.

At that time, Jamestown did not ask for financial support for the project itself but rather for the services Sunrise Engineering was providing to get the project headed in the right direction. The price tag on the request was $45,000.

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Sunrise returned Tuesday after providing the commissioners with the spectrum of services they are providing to the Jamestown water project. Sunrise spokesman Robert Hood explained to the commission where it all stands.

Hood said currently Jamestown is operating a water plant which is very old, has to be babysat all the time and is on its last leg.

“If it is not addressed we will have a crisis on our hands,” Hood told the commission.

Several studies have been done and the recommendation is to connect the district to the Joint Powers Water Board. As Green River is looking to expand to the west, this water line would also provide water to this expansion. It has been said only one waterline will be built and Green River still has not decided to get on board with the Jamestown project.

Another recommendation was to change the 8-inch line to a  12-inch line. Hood said the district is working on getting all the funding figured out and they are not asking money for the project itself but rather for the services Sunrise has provided. Chairman Wally Johnson made it clear the request was not for the project but for services. Sunrise is providing services that cover almost everything up to the actual construction.

Commissioner John Kolb questioned why there was not a written request for finances provided to them. Hood said after the last meeting, they understood the commissioners just wanted written information on the services they are providing.

“I support this project,” Kolb said. “Every district is different and this one is actually working on the project.”

Several agencies have recently presented to the commission about the need for funding.

“We have had a hospital district and two other improvement districts approach us because they are running out of money,” Commissioner Reid West said. “They have come to use as a last resort and it’s very frustrating.”

He said they had an idea this might come forward this year and the commission put aside $40,000 for projects, the main thought was Clearview and Jamestown. Clearview has already taken $25,000 and were again asking for more from the commissioners right before the Jamestown presentation.

West said he would support giving Sunrise $15,000 and if they wanted to approach the county when budget discussion get underway this year, they are welcome to.

Chairman Johnson commented that West had said it best but really praised Sunrise for the quality of the project information calling it “very well done.”

Kolb also said he would like the Rio Vista board to justify why they can’t pay Sunrise. He also said he believed the Jamestown Board also needed to discuss the $200,000 which was provided to them in the past.

Hood said the district still has the $200,000 but are unsure what it can be spent on. He also said the problem back then was due to promises of development which did not take place. Hood added there is a current lawsuit on the very issue and they are also holding the $200,000 because of the lawsuit.

In closing, Hood said the Jamestown district has been proactive. He said they have raised prices to help build up a reserve and they are in the process of building this reserve to provide better services to the residents of Jamestown.

No decision was made on Tuesday but the commission told Sunrise and the Jamestown Board to again come before them with a written request.

“Although we are saying $15,000 you can always ask for more and see,” Johnson said. “We are not telling you what to do.”