The Town of Sinclair is an incorporated municipality with a population
of 500. The town and the Sinclair Refinery share a common water system.
The water treatment and distribution system for the Town of
Sinclair is operated by the Sinclair Refinery. The town has identified
several deficiencies in their supply and distribution system. The
existing 75,000 gallon tank was constructed in 1924 and is badly
corroded. In 1993, the town requested funding for a water supply
master plan to assess present/future needs and to evaluate the entire
water system that was constructed seven decades ago.
The Level I master plan was completed by the WWDC in 1996. This study
indicated that the treatment plant, tank and transmission and distribution
lines need to be upgraded. The town and refinery have an agreement for
the operation and maintenance of the water system. The town owns the
water right. For the use of 90% of the water, the refinery pays up to
$15,000 for operation and maintenance of the water system per year.
The water system consists of a pretreatment unit which is located at
the river. The water is run through a final treatment plant that purifies
the water. Most of the refinery's 90% does not need to be potable.
Therefore, they are not interested in the final treatment of the water.
In addition to technical issues, the study will focus on resolving the
fair share project cost for the refinery and the sponsor. The project
was delayed and placed on a Level II - Hold status pending resolution of
institutional issues between the Town of Sinclair, the Sinclair
Refinery, and the City of Rawlins that has never been fully resolved.
The town of Sinclair has requested a 1999 Level II water supply master
plan study, to provide additional information to the Level I study done
in 1996, for their use in prioritizing their system rehabilitation.
In November 1997, the residents of Carbon County passed a capital
facilities tax. As a result, the Town of Sinclair has over $300,000.00
to use for water system improvements. One main obstacle to this project
is the past agreements among the water system users. The refinery is only
willing to pay $15,000 per year total and the town is only willing to pay
their historic $5.00 per month. The combination of these two funds and the
new tax may not cover their shares of the system upgrades.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends that the project be removed from the Level II-Hold
status in the New Development Program and placed in the Rehabilitation
Program with an appropriation of $50,000.