If all funding is approved, construction on a new water line connecting North End Users to the Northwest Rural Water District could start in the summer of 2013, with job completion in the fall of 2014, said Cody Schatz with Engineering Associates.
At $40 per foot, the cost of the new 40-mile pipeline to replace North End’s old pipes will be roughly $8.5 million.
It could require two years to procure the funding from the different state sources that received Northwest applications, but Overfield said she believes all of it will be approved this year.
Northwest Rural has applied for $4.6 million in grants and a $3.4 million grant/loan from Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Northwest will apply for a $500,000 infrastructure grant from the Wyoming Business Council Community Development Business Grant. The remaining $200,000 will be paid by North End users, Schatz said.
North End folks will be the only ones paying for construction debt. In March, the Northwest board will vote to assume the debt. Overfield said she doesn’t anticipate the board will oppose it.
The state has granted nearly $800,000 for the project’s design. Northwest will probably return $50,000 to $100,000 to the state because it will not be needed for design costs, Schatz said.
The cost to tie into original North End taps is included in construction costs, so there will be no there will be no extra charge for that, she said.
If more users sign up for taps, it will help lower the debt cost and so lower monthly bills for users. About 20 North End users have not signed inclusion petitions. Overfield said she must receive those by Dec. 1 if those users want Northwest water.
New users can sign up for new taps, but they must be within 300 feet of the existing North End line. Anyone interested should give Overfield or Schatz a call and they will check the map. However, no new Northwest taps will be available until they are sure they have the funding. If funding is certain, the district will begin taking new contracts in March. District taps cost $3,000, plus a $35 filing fee, Overfield said.
About 92 percent of the new pipeline will follow North End easements, Overfield said.
About 20 new easements are needed at this time, said Schatz.
For easements on private property, the district will offer 50 percent of fair market value according to the value placed on the property by the Park County Assessor. No permanent structures will be allowed over the pipe easement. “You still have surface use,” Overfield said.
Taps will be connected after the new pipeline is installed. “We’re not going to shut you off for a week and say, ‘We’ll see you Monday,’” Schatz said, getting a few laughs from the audience.
No customer should be out of service more than six or eight hours, Overfield said.
Some residents in the North End area will be asked to complete an income survey. Those surveys are required to meet Community Development Block Grant requirements. Northwest Rural Water District officials don’t know what percentage of households will be surveyed at this time, but the selection will be random and anonymous.
“We’re not trying to get nosy here,” Overfield said. “It’s just a requirement of the funds.”
Elections for Northwest Rural Water District Board of Director positions occur every two years in May. They are four-year terms. A former North End user could run for a spot on the five-member board, Overfield said.