PINEDALE – The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) denied a grant application submitted by the Town of Pinedale for federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to fix the “Orcutt seep” and install a new storm water conveyance system, Mayor Matt Murdock announced at the Jan. 9 town council meeting.
As a result, town staff returned to the drawing table to draft a new grant application to submit to the SLIB requesting ARPA funds to solve to the Orcutt seep without a request for a storm water conveyance system, said Abram Pearce, director of public works.
Town staff went back and looked at “cost-effective solutions” to prevent water seeping out of Orcutt Hill from entering the town’s sewer system, Pearce told The Roundup. Between 100,000 and 200,000 gallons of water pour daily from the Orcutt seep into the town’s sewage treatment facility, Pearce said, straining the town’s ability to properly discharge water from its sewer system.
During winter, the excess groundwater in Orcutt Hill can back up and create ice dams, negatively affecting businesses and residents below the hill.
A saturated section of the hill below the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds began to slide in July, threatening to flood West Pine Street and Highway 191. Mayor Murdock authorized an emergency expenditure on July 11 to construct a berm to protect the highway.
During the Jan. 9 meeting, Murdock described the Orcutt seep as a “complicated problem” with “multiple actors and coefficients.”
One engineering solution involves constructing a pipeline from Orcutt Hill to convey the water to the town’s underdrain system, Pearce explained. A second pipe would move the water from the under drain system to a discharge site along Pine Creek in Boyd Skinner Park, Pearce added.
Additional alternatives involve running a pipeline west along Valley Road to Pine Creek, according to town documents.
The cost to implement the alternatives to remove the water seeping from Orcutt Hill into Pine Creek and protect the town’s sanitary system is approximately $600,000, town documents indicate.
The Pinedale Town Council unanimously passed a resolution on Jan. 9 authorizing town staff to submit a grant application to the SLIB Board requesting $443,290 in ARPA funds to pay for the pipelines to solve the Orcutt seep.
The town’s financial match for the project stood at $159,042. Murdock suggested approaching the Sublette County Board of Commissioners to partner with the town and split the local cash match to repair the Orcutt Hill seep.
The county agreed to assist the town. On Jan. 17, the commissioners passed a resolution committing the county to pay $79,521.26, or half of the local cash match required by the ARPA grant.
Town finalizes purchase of new office space
The town council unanimously approved a motion to transfer $1,266,694.12 from First American Title Insurance Company to settle the town’s purchase of the former Ultra property at 205 Entertainment Lane at the Jan. 9 meeting.
The motion also granted Mayor Murdock the authority to sign all closing documents on the purchase.
Work on installing fire suppression and painting the building were finishing up, Murdock said. The town planned to begin moving some of its offices into the facility “sometime in February,” Murdock told the Roundup.
At previous meetings, the town had discussed leasing extra space in the building to other agencies.