Residents seek help with project

The big machinery was out on Nevada Avenue Monday preparing for the South Phase of the water and sewer infrastructure project. Here, an asphalt milling machine works its way down the hill to chew up pavement in preparation for the laying of new water and sewer lines, which will begin next week. David Peck photo

With the South Phase of the Lovell water and sewer infrastructure project under way, residents east of McKinley Ave. on top of the hill are being advised that the increased water pressure that will result from a new water line across the top of the bench could cause leaks in residents’ lines.

The town sent a letter to residents on Lane 11½, Road 11½ and nearby areas in late September advising them that the town is concerned that the water line that supplies the neighborhood “will not be able to tolerate the extra pressure without leaks,” adding, “We would encourage you as a group of residents to contact each other and determine what you would like to do.”

The town suggested two options: 1) Replace the plastic line with higher pressure pipe, either plastic or ductile iron; or 2) Install a pressure reducing valve (PRV) at the point where the neighborhood line connects to the town’s main line.

“If you do nothing and the line begins leaking, you will be required to pay for the additional water that would be lost,” Office Supervisor Ed Allred wrote in the letter.

Responding to the letter, RJ and Amy May came before the council at the regular October meeting last Tuesday, Oct. 11, to discuss options, saying that they had discussed the letter with various neighbors and the consensus was to ask the town to pay for a PRV since the need for the device came on short notice and because the project was forcing the issue upon residents.

Amy May said the residents were researching costs.

Water and sewer project engineer Frank Page said that residents should see a significant increase in water pressure, leading to better water service and fire hydrant pressure for fire safety.

“Our pressure is OK. We can live with it, and we’re last on the line,” Amy May said. “But replacing a whole line would cost thousands of dollars. We need time to financially prepare for that.”

Page suggested there is so much distance between the new line and area homes that he would suggest a PRV at the tap and one at each individual residence to properly protect homes.

The council expressed a willingness to assist.

“We need to put all of our stuff together before we can give you an answer,” Mayor Bruce Morrison said, noting that the town has suggested annexation for the neighborhood in the past.

“We’re not going to force annexation on anybody,” he said. “We need to figure out how to put in the water.”

Councilman Scott Allred noted the funding method of residents forming a special improvement district to pay for improvements over a period of time, and town attorney Sandra Kitchen said that the SID would need to be a county improvement district, since the area is outside the town limits.

Amy May said residents are still working on obtaining costs, and the mayor assured her that, while there are no guarantees, “We’re open to it.”

“Bring us a proposal. Give us a chance,” councilman Brian Dickson said.

Garrett Pike also came before the council to discuss an issue, stating that the town at one time moved his water meter pit into an alley during repair work. He said he would like to have the meter pit moved back into his yard and said he has discussed the item with the public works department in the past. He said he’s worried that someone driving over the meter pit could damage the meter.

Mayor Morrison said he would see that it gets taken care of.

Other business

•Engineer Frank Page reported on the startup of the South Phase of the water and sewer infrastructure project, which was to (and did) begin on Monday, Oct. 17 with street milling. The council voted to authorize the mayor to sign the notice to proceed with the project.

•Lovell Inc. Director Sue Taylor gave the council an update on the Lovell Inc. office/business incubator building remodeling project. The council reviewed and approved a letter to the Wyoming Business Council detailing a reallocation of costs and funds.

Taylor also reported on an Asset Based Community Development survey being developed by Lovell Inc. with the assistance of Kent Zeller to help re-inform the community about the town master plan.

•The council voted to approve a 24-hour operating permit for the Four Corners Bar for New Year’s Eve and Day operations. The permit is good for 6 a.m. on Dec. 31 through 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 and would apply for all establishments that sell alcohol in town.

•Clerk/Treasurer Valerie Beal reported that she has received a letter from Rusty Nail Inc. requesting a community development block grant loan for improvements to the Brandin’ Iron Restaurant building. She was awaiting more paperwork from the company.

•Town Attorney Kitchen suggested that the town order a title commitment as the time for deeding the land at the old hospital for the senior housing project comes closer. The council voted to order the commitment and the title policy. Taylor and Councilman Bruce Wolsey said there was a very positive response from potential builders and buyers at a meeting that morning.

•Councilman Scott Allred thanked the council and the town for the support while he was on a special project the last five months in Colorado, saying he’s “glad to be back home.”

•Councilman Kevin Jones said the town crew is doing a good job on the Firewise cleanup along the Globe Canal.

By David Peck