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
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
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
• 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.