At their Tuesday meeting the Johnson County Commissioners extended their existing agreement with Sheridan County to continue everyday operations at Lake DeSmet, an agreement in place since the lease with the Wyoming Game and Fish became a real possibility earlier this year.
The agreement was drafted to continue the operations, pay bills, and whatever else was necessary to run the reservoir after the disbanding of the Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition. Thew agreement was to be in place until the Wyoming Game and Fish either approved the lease of water agreement with Johnson County or rejected it. The original agreement was to expire July 1st, with payments due and documents signed, but the Game and Fish has yet to either approve or deny the lease agreement, which forced the county commissioners to extend the agreement through December 1st of this year.
The Game and Fish, according to discussions by the commission during the meeting, is expected to sign the agreement at some point in the next few months, but no one involved is sure when that might happen. The best-case scenario would be during their September 25-26 meetings in Jackson, but could be as long as the November 13-14 meetings in Laramie. And of course there is still a possibility the Game and Fish could reject the plan altogether, although none of the commissioners believe that will happen.
The commissioners opted to plan for the November meetings for the “go ahead” from G&F, and planned for then moving forward with the payments and documentation to be available and finished in time for the new December 1st deadline.