Work Could Start Next Year on Gas Pipeline

Peter Clark, Ranchester mayor and Joint Powers Board chairman, traces the route of the proposed natural gas pipeline. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Peter Clark, Ranchester mayor and Joint Powers Board chairman, traces the route of the proposed natural gas pipeline. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Work could start next year on a pipeline that would deliver natural gas to residents in the Tongue River Valley.

That's the hope, anyway, of the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board. Peter Clark, who's Ranchester mayor and chairman of the Joint Powers Board, said the board would like to go out after the first of the year for bids to construct the pipeline.

He said the board now has a loan of nearly $4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's the good news.

The not so good news is that there are 23 conditions that the Joint Powers Board must meet to qualify for the loan. Clark talked about some of those.

Clark said the board is currently working through those as well as a public involvement process, which is also required. He said that will involve meetings to explain the project.

He said another condition of the loan is that the board must collect cash deposits from those who want, and who qualify for, the natural gas service. When construction starts, Clark said, the project could be completed within a year and a half to two years.

The Joint Powers Board consists of representatives from the towns of Ranchester and Dayton and Sheridan County School District 1, which has schools in both towns. The towns and school district have been working for several years to acquire natural gas service to replace the more expensive propane that's currently in use, and the Joint Powers Board was organized in October 2013.

Clark said there will be some discussion of the loan at the Joint Powers Board's meeting this week. That's scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Town Hall in Dayton. He said he'll meet Wednesday with the bank and engineering company for the project, and possibly with the USDA, to clarify some financing issues.

View another photo below.

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Closeup of where the pipeline will divide between Ranchester and Dayton. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Closeup of where the pipeline will divide between Ranchester and Dayton. (Photo by Pat Blair)
SheridanWyoming.com

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