Town sends EPA water quality plan

Pinedale is on target and

on schedule to meet compliance with Environmental

Protection Agency criteria to

do a study of Fremont Lake and its drinking

water supply.

Brian Gray, with Jorgenson and Associates,

reported during the April 8 council

meeting that consultants completed the

plan April 3, well ahead of the 60-day

deadline of April 29, and sent it to the

EPA for approval. Mayor Matt Murdock

and council members Dean Loftus, Tyler

Swafford and John Paravicini were in attendance.

The ongoing study and responses from

the EPA have become a permanent agenda

item for the town’s council as part of the

study’s promise to the EPA that there is

full public disclosure about the town’s

drinking water.

The study is an attempt by the town

of Pinedale to avoid a $16-million water

filtration system. Pinedale is one of the

few municipalities in the nation that gets

pure drinking water from an open lake.

The water is treated with chlorine and an

ultraviolet system to ensure it is safe to

drink. Because water in the lake, tested

two times a week, has always met EPA

standards, there has never been a requirement

to filter the water before it is treated.

However, that all changed in August

2018 when test samples exceeded the

EPA standards for fecal coliform.

The plan establishes a work group and

slates May through July for preliminary

research, including gathering past tests.

Fieldwork is planned for August, September

and October – the months in 2018

when there were high readings for contamination.

A final study will be submitted

to the EPA by February 2020.

Implementation of any recommendations

coming from the study would begin

in March 2020.

The EPA will review the submitted plan

and respond back to the town whether the

plan and study meet its approval.

Conducting a watershed study to identify

sources of fecal coliforms at the intakes

was one of three options given to

the town by the EPA to deal with the high

measurements of fecal coliform. The town

has provided the consultants with more

than five years of water quality test data

for trending and analysis. The analysis

will evaluate the data for spatial – land

use, drainage – and temporal trends – seasonal,

storms, droughts, etc., to try and

identify conditions that might result in elevated

fecal coliform concentrations and

examine links to potential contamination.

Later in the meeting the council approved

a motion to hire Greenwood Law,

LLC., to pursue potential litigation

about “ongoing water issues.”

Also during the April 8 meeting,

the council received an update on the

broadband project. Murdock reported,

after a meeting with Russell Elliott,

broadband manager for the Wyoming

Business Council, and Rep. Albert

Sommers, the county will apply for $6

million in grants. He said in the upcoming

weeks, a joint powers agreement

will finalized and approved by

the county and the towns of Pinedale,

Marbleton and Big Piney. He added, at

that time, the $1 million committed by

Pinedale, the $500,000 committed by

each of Big Piney and Marbleton and

the $3 million committed by Sublette

County will be turned over to the joint

powers board to be leveraged for grants

and private investments.

Other actions included:

• The council went into a one-hour

closed executive session to discuss personnel

and litigation.

• A bid was accepted from Wind

River Stone Scapes, Inc., for $12,751

to replace the stones in the gazebo at

American Legion Park.

• A request for a variance to allow

a “small house” in the Cooley Subdivision

was withdrawn. The item was

removed after being tabled during the

previous meeting with no action taken.

Planning and zoning was asked to look

at “small homes” as a building option

as more requests come in to allow them

inside the town’s limits.

• A special permit was granted

to allow Pine Street to be partially

blocked on July 7 for the Rolling Thunder

Motorcycle Parade from American

Legion Park to the parking lot at Ridley’s.

The request was initially tabled at

the previous meeting when organizers

estimated the entire street would need

to be blocked for an hour. Following a

meeting with law enforcement, it was

determined the first-time event could

take place by only partially blocking

the street for an estimated 20 minutes.

• Charles Street was designated as

the permitted preferred location for

Traders Row during the 2019 Mountain

Man Rendezvous July 8 through

July 15. Initially, discussions were to

move Traders Row to Boyd Skinner

Park across from vendors in the American

Legion Park. However, representatives

for the traders said the use of

sandbags and buckets to tie down their

tents, which is necessary to protect the

sprinklers in the park, is not historically


• A motion passed to pay the first

$30,000 so production on a dump and

fill station can begin. Once plans are approved

by the Department of Environmental

Quality, estimated at 60 days,

the project can be advertised, awarded

and completed by mid summer.

• The council came to a consensus

that trails in Boyd Skinner Park should

be submitted to the Wyoming Department

of Transportation for potential

grant applications. While initially a

Pine Street beautification project was

recommended, Hayley Ruland, director

of engineering and zoning, said vegetation

and beautification projects are not

rated high on WYDOT’s priority lists.

• A resolution passed establishing an

employee guide, including job descriptions

and employer evaluations.

• A resolution passed announcing a

council vacancy. Applications to fill the

vacancy created when council member

Jim Brost resigned will be accepted

through 4 p.m. on April 15 at the town

hall, 69 Pinedale South Road. Interviews

will be conducted at the April 22

meeting before selecting a replacement.


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