SAWS Expects to See Cost Information Next Month

Members of the county water system governing board expect to see figures next month on how much it would cost the city of Sheridan to own the water system. Sheridan Media reporter Pat Blair has the story.

The first report in a study that could determine whether the county water system will be turned over to the city of Sheridan is expected to be presented next month. Dan Coughlin, who's the manager of the Sheridan Area Water Supply, which is known as SAWS, said the report will be presented to the SAWS Joint Powers Board at the board's meeting on Jan. 13.

The SAWS board earlier this year hired Hawksley Consultants of Denver to perform the study. The city currently operates the SAWS system in conjunction with the city's own municipal water system. The issue is whether to consolidate the county water system under city ownership. I asked Bob Rolston, who's the current chairman of the SAWS board, how the consolidation proposal came about.

SAWS Attorney Tony Wendtland, in a letter that he read to the SAWS board in September, said the proposed measure would consolidate both water systems into a single system controlled by the city of Sheridan.

He said consolidation would disenfranchise county residents, who can't vote for the city officials who would manage the water system. The SAWS board currently consists of three city councilors and three county commissioners, but Wendtland argues that system would go away under consolidation.

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