Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

City agrees to future-proof new waterline


June 13, 2019

To future-proof utilities at the south end of town, Ryan Kaski visited with the council last week to ask whether the city would be interested in paying the difference between the four-inch water waterline extension necessary for his new subdivision and the eight-inch line that would likely be needed if future development took place in the area.

Based on recommendations from Trihydro for such items as upgraded valves, Kaski explained that the difference would be approximately $8941. The extension would be from the existing eight-inch city line to the edge of the new subdivision.

The idea would be to bury a size of pipe that could feed a bigger area than the 22 new lots, rather than to go back in a few years when the city finds it needs to extend the line further and re-trench the four-inch to replace it. It’s a fairly common agreement between cities and private developers that helps both parties meet their needs, Kaski said.

Karla Greaser of Trihydro explained that the city has not documented formal design standards that would require an eight-inch line; if documentation had existed, it would have been a requirement for the subdivision with no cost to the city.

This is one of those suggestions based on unknowable future needs, commented Mayor Paul Brooks.

“If we don’t do it, we’ll wish we had, and if we do, it’ll sit unused for 100 years,” he said.

Some discussion was held as to whether the subdivision should have been built on a six-inch line in the first place based on Department of Environmental Quality requirements for fire flow. This, said Greaser, would mean the city should only need to pay the difference between a six- and eight-inch line.

“Ryan, for his purposes, has no justifiable need for a six-inch line,” responded Ken Rathbun, Bearlodge Engineering. He concurred that a bigger line might be necessary for future development, but pointed out that this is nothing to do with the subdivision and exactly what the city is advocating the upgrade for.

Kaski agreed, adding, “We are not providing fire flow.”

City Attorney Mark Hughes was shocked to hear that county subdivision standards do not require fire flow. Rathbun explained that it is not considered necessary and pointed out that the plat has already been jointly approved by the city and county.

“It just seems odd to me that those people won’t have fire protection in the subdivision, that’s all I’m saying,” said Hughes.

There had been a proposal in the past to install a system that fully matched the city’s own, Rathbun said, but this was declined and Kaski was asked to install a private meter instead. However, the plat has been approved as meeting the required standards.

Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lenz proposed removing the cost from the present budget because there are funds remaining in a line item for water tank and line development. This could be placed in a sinking fund, she suggested.

The council moved to approve the upgrade from four to eight inches, not to exceed the proposed $8991.


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