The Level II report was completed in 1994. The Level II study refined a
Level I planning study completed in 1990. Both studies showed that the
area could be effectively served through a regional system. The
recently completed Level II study developed conceptual designs and cost
estimates to connect the entities in and around Casper to a single water
supply system. During the past 10 years, the Commission has received
numerous applications from municipalities and water districts in the
area seeking assistance in developing good water supplies. The state's
financial resources would be better applied to solving the area's
problems than to continue piecemeal development.
Progress was delayed while the political subdivisions in the area formed
a joint powers board. In early 1994, a joint powers board comprised of
representatives from Natrona County, Casper, Mills, Wardwell Water and
Sewer District, the Salt Creek Joint Powers Board, Evansville, and
Brooks Water and Sewer District was formed. In early 1995, the Towns of
Mills and Evansville opted out of the board.
The aggregate population of the entities served by the Natrona County
Regional Water System Joint Powers Board is approximately 60,000
residents. The Level II feasibility study of the Natrona County
Regional Water Supply Project identified $60,000,000 of needed
improvements, of which $37,000,000 would be eligible for WWDC
assistance, and identified a phased approach for completing the project.
Some infrastructure improvements will be completed by 1997 to facilitate
operation of the regional system. Pipelines are needed to connect the
various entities to the regional system. This first phase of the
pipeline improvements is estimated to cost $5,110,000. A 6 million
gallon groundwater storage tank and a high capacity booster pump station
are estimated to cost approximately $7,740,000. Because of limited
funds available during the 1995 session, the WWDC recommended that this
project be phased.
In 1995, the joint powers board completed the ownership agreements with
the participating entities, executed the contracts with the WWDC,
retained a project manager and are presently in the process of hiring
the design firm.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends that the Level III appropriation be increased from
$1,650,000 to $12,850,000 or $11,200,000. The recommended financing
plan remains a 67% grant and a 33% loan with an interest rate of 4%
and a term of 30 years.