(Sheridan, Wyo.) — The Sheridan Board of County Commissioners voted today to discontinue discussion of the dissolution of the Sheridan Area Water Supply Joint Powers Board
According to the County, SAWS supplies rural water customers and the City
of Sheridan with potable water. By agreement with the Sheridan County
Commissioners, the Sheridan County Public Works Director acts as
Administrator for the SAWS-JPB. Also by agreement with the City Council of
Sheridan, the physical system of reservoirs, intakes, treatment plants,
water storage tanks, pumping stations, transmission mains, distribution
mains and meters are operated and maintained by the City of Sheridan’s
By the same agreement, the City of Sheridan Billing and Collection
Departments bill the SAWS-JPB customers, and collect and deposit the
revenues to the SAWS-JPB operating account. SAWS-JPB pays the City and
County for their services.
The commissioners took the vote after hearing an hour of discussion between
SAWS JPB attorney Tony Wentland and County Attorney Matt Redle in a special
The County had looked at the possibility of changing
the administrative structure of water delivery services to rural Sheridan
County residents, who receive water via the current SAWS water system.
A change in structure, which would have dissolved the SAWS JPB and moved
all water assets to the City of Sheridan, could have saved in
administrative costs and inefficiencies, a consultant told the
commissioners, Fletcher Davis of Hawksley Consulting previously told the
However, it could have also left rural customers without effective
representation on water delivery issues.
"In terms of representing (existing SAWS) customers' interests, who would
be able to step in and legally protect that interest (if SAWS is
dissolved)?" Redle asked.
"For the former SAWS customers?" Wendtland asked. "Nobody. Themselves."
The commissioners collectively said they will work at streamlining SAWS
procedures, but do not want to disenfranchise rural water users who rely on
the system through dissolution.