County, town get on same page with seep situation

Brady Oltmans,
Posted 2/2/21

Plans brought forward in ongoing issue.

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County, town get on same page with seep situation


PINEDALE – Pinedale Mayor Matt Murdock attended the Feb. 2 meeting of the Sublette County Board of Commissioners so the county and town could get on the same page concerning a seep water path through town.

Rio Verde Engineering’s Aaron Seehafer explained that before last week’s Pinedale Town Council meeting he met with Public Works director Abe Pearce to discuss using the town’s under drain to get seep water to the town's park and then to Pine Creek. Estimates and plans went to the town council.

Seehafer said the cheapest option is to use the town’s existing under drain that goes to the finishing pond, and then getting that water into the creek. In discussions, Pearce said he had concerns the water would ice downstream of the pond. They decided if they could get light water to the creek, dispose of that water directly to the black water, it would alleviate any icing problems. That was presented to the council, which seemed receptive. The council also suggested looking for alternatives.

Pearce brought up town discussions of removing the storm drain on Tyler Avenue. Town c=Council asked Pearce to draft a professional service agreement to provide an estimate. Essentially, the storm drain would start at the empty park area out to town limits by Valley Road. That would remove storm water but also be used for Orcutt seep water. Instillation of the drain could be anywhere from two to five years out, if it’s agreed upon.

Commissioner Doug Vickrey asked why the county is involved in the project. Deputy attorney Clayton Melinkovich said the issue of the seep comes from private land in unincorporated county, not in incorporated Pinedale.

Commissioner Tom Noble said the ditch is on county property and the water is state property.

Mayor Murdock said the issue of the ditch went back 30 years with a three-party solution. There have been temporary solutions ever since. Murdock said both of the plans brought forth by Rio Verde Engineering were expensive. He thought the excess water going in Pine Creek would be beneficial for the fish and it would appease the Game and Fish Department but that solution would be too expensive. That brought discussion for the possible stormwater project, which would be more expensive but some of the expenses could be paid by the state.

Murdock said another option would lump Pine Street and Tyler Street projects together, and if that doesn’t come to fruition the best option would be routing the water through the Boyd Skinner Park fishing pond.

“It’s complicated and it’s messy so I feel your pain because we’re also equally saying ‘It’s not our water, why are we putting it into our sewer system?’” Murdock said.

The mayor also said the town’s temptation has been to shut off the water because it’s not the town’s issue but doing so wouldn’t solve the community’s problem.

The commissioners agreed to move forward and asked Rio Verde Engineering for cost estimates. Murdock said if the water gets to Pine Creek, that fixes the problem.

Also in the meeting:

  • Billy Pape explained more graders were moving through town to plow near Daniel and Bondurant because of heavy snow and drifts there, after citizens aired their concerns to commissioners.
  • The board said it wouldn’t commit any more money than is previously outlined for the Fremont Lake Road and Skyline Street projects
  • The board agreed to grant $12,069 in CARES Act funding to each local charity that applied for funds through county commissioners.
  • The board approved selling a lot to the Children’s Discovery Center for $42,000 pending redrawn property lines.
  • The board carried a motion to approve a memorandum of understanding for grazing regulation amendments that has been put together by the Wyoming County Commissioners Association.
  • Fire chief Shad Cooper brought the potential for buying a new truck, as outlined in his department’s budget, to the board as a courtesy.
  • Todd Hurd of Forsgren and Associates gave updates on Daniel Fire Station construction, Big Piney Library and Marbleton fairgrounds. The board suggested Hurd stay in contact with county attorneys regarding the fairgrounds construction.
  • Billie Hamby of the county’s Veteran Services introduced herself and gave a review of services to new council members.
  • Commissioner Vickrey said he’d join commissioner Noble on the Rural Hospital District Board’s planning commission.