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Lovell , Wyoming
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July 30, 2009     Lovell Chronicle
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July 30, 2009
 

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8 I The Lovell Chronicle ] July 30, 2009 www. LovellChronicle.com CANAL continued from page one had been breached, Crosby said. The water flooded the area north of the highway between the roadway and the canal and water gushed over the road and into pas- tureland south of Hwy. 14A. The water washed over the south side shoul- der and eroded the ground, undermining about a foot of the road for several hun- dred feet, Thomas said. The right-of-way fence on both sides of the highway must be replaced and there was damage to last week's freshly completed chip seal project. There may be some surface damage to the high- way, Thomas said. A WyDOT crew be- gan filling in the eroded area and Thomas said they planned to be done some- time Tuesday. The stretch of roadway was re-opened Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., after being closed for 11 hours, according to WyDOT. The floodwaters were in the area of Marathon oil fields so the company took proactive action and "shut in".33 wells early Tuesday morning in the river bottom area to eliminate environ- mental impacts. All but four oil wells were brought back online by 2 p.m., according to Marathon spokesperson Lee Warren. There was lim- ited access to the four wells that remained shut in as of Tuesday evening, Warren said. Shutting in wells in- volves shutting down pump units and turning off valves to wells to avoid any leak- age or environmental im- pacts. Marathon avoided any leaks or environmen- tal impacts as of Tuesday, Warren said. Warren said there was great cooperation from local agencies responding to the incident and they informed Marathon immediately about the flooding. Sher- iff Ken Blackburn agreed and said the quick response time of everyone involved was appreciated. "This incident shows how quickly an emergency can happen, you just have to be ready," Blackburn said. Wyoming Highway Pa- trol Trooper Lanny Hen- sley said the event is not currently being classified as a car crash, but that could change depending on a recommendation from the Highway Safety Program of Cheyenne. He said the wa- ter caused the incident and the vehicle involved slid off the road and became stuck. The Sidon Canal sup- plies irrigation water di- verted from the Shosho- ne River to 13,500 acres of land in Byron and Cowley. Construction on the canal is scheduled to be complete af- ter three days of work, Cros- by said, and it will take an- other three or four days for water to reach Cowley once the water is let out again. People in the affected area could be without irrigation water for about a week, which shouldn't be too tough on farmers, Crosby said, but any longer would pose a problem for crops. COURTESY PHOTO Water rushes around the Geo Prizm that was driven by Wendy Walker of Lovell. The vehicle was swept off the road after a breach of the Sidon Canal three miles west of Byron early Tuesday morning. Byron goes to the polls over raw water BY BRAD DEVEREAUX Byron residents have a choice to make about how they will receive raw water at their properties. The Town of Byron is asking its residents to vote on Tuesday, Aug. 18, if there is a better way to deliver water to landown- ers in town. Currently, the town employs a system of open water ditches, and the proposal is to install a piped underground deliv- ery system. If passed, the resolu- tion would authorize the Town of Byron to issue general obligation and/ or promissory notes in the maximum principal amount of $1,224,000. The amount will be made up of a $435,000 loan from the Wyoming Water Develop- ment Commission (locked at 4 percent interest), and a $789,000 contribution from the town. Though it is un- known what interest rate the town will be able to get for the $789,000 needed, the resolution states that the rate cannot exceed 8 percent. The notes would mature within 30 years, according to a resolution passed in April by the Byron Town Council. The loans would be paid off through an in- crease in Byron residents' county property taxes. The remainder of the cost would be paid for by a grant from the WWDC of up to $1,126,000. If the resolution does not pass, Byron residents will stick with the raw wa- ter ditches present there to- day. The town government has said that fees will be assessed to cover mainte- nance costs for the ditches, which the town currently pays for. In Byron, a town of 557 at last count, there are some people for the change and others who want to keep the open ditches in place. Jack Hessenthaler has a two-acre yard in Byron. "I'm definitely for (the resolution) because it is going to benefit the major- ity of people in town," he said, adding that the piped system may turn out to be cheaper than keeping the ditches and paying mainte- nance fees. Installing up to a two- inch pipe connection at ev- ery property would do away with flood irrigation in town and everyone will have to pump their own water, he said, but most lots in town aren't large enough to re- quire flood irrigation. The piped system, he said, will be virtually main- tenance-free and the only other cost other than tax requirements incurred by residents would be the cost of buying, maintaining and running a pump. The piped system would be safer and would require no cleaning, he said. John Graham of Byron said he does not want the bond issue to pass, stating, "the system we have now works and has proven it- self," in a written statement submitted to the Chronicle. He said the ballot seems misleading because it asks voters if they are for or against the bonds, and doesn't explicitly tell voters about the tax requirements that will be passed on to them to repay the loans. "It looks like a way to trick you into paying for the water project," he wrote. "I have a pipeline al- ready and I have trouble with it every couple years. It sands in every so often, so there is more expense there," he wrote. The vote will be held Tuesday, Aug. 18, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at town hall. Any qualified registered elector of the town will be entitled to vote, according to the resolution. Voters be at least 18 years old and ifa voter has not registered 30 days before the vote,  they can register at the polls on Vote Tuesday, 7 am Byron the day of election. Town Clerk Vicki Gib- son said many people ap- proaching the vote might be reluctant to strap future generations with 8 percent interest on bonds. She ex- plained that the council will August 18, to 7 pm Town Hall be getting the best rates available on bonds and 8 percent is just the amount the interest should not ex- ceed, as written in the bond question. If rates are that high, the council has the flexibility of choosing not 2009 to go with bonds or obliga-: tions at that time. The estimated total. cost of the project, which'. includes approximately 221! connections to town prop-, erties, is $2.35 million, ac- cording to the resolution. Complet, e Bedroom 00ecliners starting at $ 249 Matt, resses