Pinedale water rates may increase


PINEDALE – Water rates for Pinedale residents could rise by as much as $2.10 per month to help fund the replacement of the main waterline beneath Quartz Avenue and a portion of Jade Street and Shanley Avenue.

The Pinedale Town Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the submission of a loan application to the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) to fund the estimated project cost of $1,258,000.

SLIB requires that the town indicate how the loan will be repaid in the resolution. Council members agreed to fund half of the loan through town reserves with the other half coming from water rate increases.

The town plans to host a public hearing in either June or July to discuss the proposed rate increases before the town passes a rate resolution, said Mayor Matt Murdock.

The loan may be eligible for up to a 25-percent forgiveness through SLIB and a zero-percent interest rate as a “green” program, said Abram Pearce, director of public works.

If the town receives funding to move forward on the project, the scope would involve removing the existing main waterline and service lines and replacing them with a new pipeline, explained Pearce. The new pipeline will be at least seven feet deep throughout the entire portion to help prevent freezing issues, Pearce added. The new pipeline for the service lines will be entirely insulated, Pearce continued.

Council members stressed the importance of moving forward with the project. Multiple residents in the proposed project area experienced freezing pipelines this winter and disruptions to their water supply, driving home the need to replace the main waterline, said councilman Tyler Swafford.

Each winter, regardless of the severity of the weather, at least three residents in the affected area contended with freezing issues, said councilman Dean Loftus. He hoped a new pipeline would be a long term solution that could decrease the need to bleed large amounts of water during the winter.

“We’ve got to get this fixed,” agreed councilwoman Judi Boyce.

Boyce and Loftus live in the affected area, and town attorney Ed Wood assured them that it was not a conflict of interest to vote in favor of the project.

The town plans to submit its loan application before the October SLIB deadline, said Pearce.