Sheridan and Johnson Counties are continuing to have discussions concerning the proposed lease of water rights at Lake DeSmet by the Wyoming Game and Fish, in what appears to be preparations for today's Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition Joint Powers Board meeting in Buffalo.
Johnson County Commissioner John Gibbs, at a media conference Tuesday, presented proposals, counter-proposals, different Memorandums of Agreement and amendments to the JPB agreement that have not been ratified or signed, but have spurred conversations between representatives of the two counties in the matter.
Gibbs, in a phone interview Wednesday, said no agreements have been reached, but talks are continuing in hopes of having something to bring to the JPB meeting today.
A Resolution was given to Gibbs by Sheridan County after the Game and Fish meeting in Casper in September, with the proposal from Sheridan County to split the water rights and market them seperately. The G&F extended their deadline to this month for the counties to work ot the agreement.
A Memorandum of Agreement was then written by Gibbs that addressed the original Resolution, splitting water rights by Permit Number and adding that Johnson County would like the loan payed off that both counties own for repair work done to the dam last year from monies Sheridan County would get from the G&F lease. Along with the Memorandum was a Resolution for the split if all parties agreed and an amendment to the JPB agreement that would need the signature of the State Attorney General.
Finally Sheridan County sent a Resolution back to Johnson County that was essentially the same one they originally presented to Johnson County at the G&F meeting in September. That is the Resolution Sheridan County's Commissioners voted to approve Tuesday.
Negotiations are continuing on these and a number of other points, Gibbs said.
Nothing has been decided yet, but the Agenda for the JPB meeting today shows the possible lease and a Resolution on splitting the marketing rights for each county's water are both scheduled for discussion.
The meeting is this afternoon at 4:30 in the Planning Office in Johnson County's Annex Building A.