Gillette City Council Issues Statement on Amendment to Omnibus Water Bill
Written by broebling on June 22, 2018
2018 WYO. SESS. LAWS CH. 121 ISSUES
On June 15, 2018, the City testified in front of the Select Water Committee in Pinedale, Wyoming. At the meeting the City provided the Committee with a detailed letter addressing the legal and practical issues associated with Senator Driskill’s Amendment to the 2018 Omnibus Water Bill. Below is a list of these issues and a brief explanation.
1. THE PROVISION REQUIRES THE CITY TO SUPPLY WATER OUTSIDE THE CITY’S SERVICE AREA AND TO CHARGE LOWER RATES TO CUSTOMERS IN CROOK COUNTY THAN CITY CUSTOMERS, CONTRARY TO WYOMING LAW.
2. PROVIDING CROOK COUNTY RESIDENTS WITH WATER UNDER THE TERMS OF THE PROVISION IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CITY’S SPECIFIC PURPOSE EXCISE TAX.
3. PROVIDING CROOK COUNTY, WYOMING RESIDENTS WITH WATER UNDER THE TERMS OF THE PROVISION IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE GILLETTE REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT.
4. THE TERMS OF THE WATER BILL ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISION. THE CITY WILL DEFAULT ON ITS FUNDING AGREEMENTS WITH THE WYOMING WATER DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION IF IT ALLOWS THE RESIDENTS OF CROOK COUNTY TO USE THE WATER FOR LIVESTOCK AND MISCELLANEOUS PURPOSES.
5. SERVING CROOK COUNTY RESIDENTS WAS NEVER CONTEMPLATED BY THE WWDC IN ANTICIPATION OF THE PROJECT.
6. THE CITY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO SUPPLY THE WATER CONTEMPLATED IN THE PROVISION UNTIL THE INVESTIGATION BY WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IS COMPLETE.