County delays sewer project funds request

By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole Daily
March 12, 2013

Teton County engineers have delayed a grant application for a new sewer line that would serve county offices and businesses in the Adams Canyon area along South Highway 89.

County leaders had planned to request $1 million from the Wyoming Business Council to support the project. Instead, they decided to hold the application until a September grant period to allow them more time to gather information about the project.

“We were up against the wall in terms of trying to get all of our information together,” County Engineer Sean O’Malley said Thursday.

Submitting a funding request in September means that construction likely wouldn’t start until 2014. The project has been discussed by county leaders for years, but there’s never been a specific timeline for the work, O’Malley said.

“Sooner is always better,” he said. “But in this case, it’s not like we had a particular time frame in mind.”

The project would tie several county facilities in Adams Canyon into the town’s sewer line. A main line would link up to those buildings and tie into the town system somewhere in South Park.

Initially, the project was developed as a way of addressing failing leach fields in the area, O’Malley said. Soils in that part of the valley are dense loess, silt-based soils that don’t allow waste to filter through the ground very easily, O’Malley said.

Coupled with that, county officials saw a chance to open up some land for new businesses in the South Park Service Center. Some of the property has been set aside for leach fields because there isn’t a sewer system in place.

“If we had a sewer main, and the lots were no longer needed to dedicate property to leach fields, there could be a potential to expand,” O’Malley said. “The amount of room for small businesses is really limited in Teton County. This could be an opportunity to increase that area.”

If the business council approves the grant, the money would cover virtually all of the cost of installing the sewer line.

Businesses whose owners want to tie in to the new sewer line would have to pay to do so. They’ll probably also have to pay for ongoing maintenance and operation costs for the system.

Town officials already have said that their sewer system could handle the extra use, O’Malley said.



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