Green River Star -

By David Martin

Jamestown water work no longer a pipe dream


While he has said the 2015 legislative session was somewhat disappointing for him, Rep. Stan Blake, D-Green River, said he’s definitely happy with one bill he helped pass.

House Bill 70, which was sponsored by the select water committee, grants funding to a number of water projects throughout the state, included the Jamestown-Rio Vista Water and Sewer District’s proposed water line in its funding bill.

The bill gives $4.2 million in grant in funding to help start the project. The funding amounts to 67 percent of the estimated project cost, of which the district is responsible for providing the other 33 percent.

“Water is something they have to have,” Blake said.

The project aims to create a water line into the Jamestown area. Jamestown has a functioning water plant, however it is near the end of its lifespan, requiring constant maintenance and supervision. This problem necessitates a new way system for the area.

Dave Shilcox, chairman of the Jamestown-Rio Vista Water and Sewer District, said the bill does a lot to get their water project off the ground. He said Blake and Sen. John Hastert, D-Green River, were instrumental in getting the district’s debt to the state forgiven as well as the $4.2 million in funding. Shilcox said the engineering firm handling the project, Sunrise Engineering of Cheyenne, has also done a lot of work helping the district with the project.

Initially, Shilcox and the district approached the Green River City Council to help fund a portion of the water line, which would have helped the city expand westward as the council looked at possibly purchasing large sections of land west of Jamestown.

However, the Council voted not to provide the district with funding, which Shilcox said ultimately helped the district, as Green River’s noninvolvement helped them seem additional funding sources.

“It was a better deal for Jamestown,” Shilcox said. “Money’s not hard to get now.”

At this point, the district is looking at the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to preparation and funding. Shilcox said he anticipates the $6.2 million project will break ground in 2016.

“We’re well on our way,” Shilcox said.


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