The project consists of a rural water system extending from the Hot Springs county line on the
south, to the Big Horn county line on the north, and encompasses most of the private lands along
both sides of the Big Horn River. The new system will obtain its water from the city of Worland,
who has an ample supply from two flowing Madison-Bighorn formation wells. The system will
operate entirely by gravity flow.
The district's members currently utilize individual wells, which generally exceed EPA secondary
regulations for TDS and Sulfates. Some local wells are also high in sodium, selenium, and
nitrate. It is estimated that up to 70% of the district's members haul water or utilize bottled water
for domestic use. The first phase construction will begin in 2001.
The McNutt Improvement and Service District project has been combined with this project.
This project is being constructed in several phases so smaller local contractors can compete.
Construction of Phase I has begun and will be completed in 2002. Phase II plans are nearly
complete. Bids for Phase II will be solicited early in 2002. Additional phases will be constructed
as plans are developed. At least two additional phases are expected.
The Washakie Rural Improvement District's project was originally funded in 1999. Due to
difficulties with: obtaining a water purchase agreement with the City of Worland; preparation of
an acceptable design; obtaining easements; and assessing the impact of the future Big Horn
Regional project, construction of the first phase of this project was not started until May 2001.
Conflicts with the contractor on Phase I resulted in several claims being filed by the contractor.
A negotiated settlement resulted in an unanticipated contract increase. Upon placing the Phase I
project into service, problems with the design became evident. Subsequently, the engineering
consultant's contract was terminated. A new consultant was selected through a competitive
qualification based selection process.
Several factors have contributed to the revised project cost projections, they are: (1) The
construction cost estimates presented in the Level II studies were developed in 1998 dollars and
the delays noted prolonged the completion of phases of the project to the extent that inflation
costs compounded; (2) The project engineering costs presented in the Level II studies were low;
(3) Material costs escalated after the completion of the Level II studies due to increased oil prices;
(4) Time delays caused by an inability to consummate a water purchase agreement with the City
of Worland; (5) Difficulties with obtaining easements from property owners and the Wyoming
Department of Transportation resulted in changes to several proposed pipeline alignments; (6)
Difficulties with the Phase I contractor; (7) The addition of district staff necessary to manage the
project at the local level; (8) problems with the Phase I design; and, (9) Replacement of the
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
This WWDC recommendation to increase the project appropriation with an additional grant, in
the amount of $3,000,000. The Rural Utilities Service will be providing an additional loan in the
amount of $500,000.00 and an additional grant in the amount of $1,000,000.00. Also, the District
is requesting a Mineral Royalties Grant in the amount of $324,000.00. With these additional
funds, the District will be able to complete the construction project.