JACKSON, Wyo. — The Teton County Board of County Commissioners approved a petition for the formation of the Hoback Junction Water and Sewer District during their Oct. 18 meeting. County Attorney Keith Gingery presented the item to the Board.

Fifty-one landowners, including Teton County, were identified to be included in the new district. The petition was verified by the Teton County Clerk and the district map was approved by the Wyoming Department of Revenue and the Teton County Assessor.

The Hoback Junction Water and Sewer District map. Enlargement of the boundaries can occur and properties can be added to the district in the future. Map: Nelson Engineering

The Board also opted to follow the recommendation to waive the requirements for a detailed description of the water and sewer infrastructure. Gingery explained that the Board could waive the requirement as long as construction did not begin prior to the requirements being submitted to the county.

Requirements include a detailed description of proposed water service mains, any sewer service mains, any pump and lift stations servicing mains, distribution or treatment facilities for water or sewer or both and method and place of discharge of wastewater, sewage or both.

“So essentially really detailed plans,” said Gingery. “In order to do that, that’s going to take a few more months.”

Gingery explained that the plans would be brought back to the Board, sometime next year. In the meantime, any person that owns at least 35% of the assessed valuation of the proposed district could file an objection and the district adoption would fail.

Ballots will also be sent to electors, this includes renters and landowners, to approve the formation of the district and to elect the initial directors.

Because the county owns property within the proposed boundary, the Board will also receive a ballot and the five commissioners will have to agree on a vote.

During the meeting, Commissioner Mark Newcomb asked about the potential for expansion of the district. “There could very well be a fairly dense subdivision for deed-restricted workforce social service housing. Would that be able to be included with some foresight?”

“With the boundary drawn where it is, that’s the most expeditious way to get this entity to be a quasi-governmental entity that can accept funds and can start progress on construction in the future.” Chris Colligan, Public Works project manager said during the meeting. “The idea is that this could be replicated in other locations and have operations and maintenance savings by having similar systems in different areas.”

Colligan also noted that boundaries do not need to be congruent or adjacent to be included in the district.

Ten million dollars is being requested on this year’s SPET ballot to fund water quality projects. A Hoback Junction Water and Sewer System, consisting of two wells, a transmission system and a concrete water storage system, was identified as one of the projects that would receive funding if the SPET is approved by voters.

The groundwater in Hoback has been found to have high nitrate levels unsuitable for human consumption.

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.