RANCHESTER — Ranchester Town Council voted 4-0 to annex two separate properties that contain the town’s water tank and sewer lagoon at its meeting Tuesday.
The properties are owned by Ranchester but are noncontiguous to town limits. However, state statutes do allow noncontiguous property owned by a town to be annexed. Usually, annexations must be adjacent to town limits.
“It’s a book keeping thing and a political thing so we don’t have to go through the Board of County Commissioners for something we can control,” Councilman Peter Clark said.
Prior to annexation, any changes on the properties, such as the addition of communication towers, technically required county approval and conditional use permits, Clark said.
Ranchester resident Chris Powers approached the Council to ask if a system could be set up to allow residents who purchase and haul water from Sheridan to instead purchase and haul water from Ranchester. He said everyone on Early Creek Road where he lives hauls water from Sheridan for use around their homes such as washing dishes and clothes and watering the lawn.
Recently, the price of water has doubled, in addition to the cost of fuel and hauling, and Powers said he’d like to see a local option that could save residents money.
Several options were discussed but no action was taken on the request. It will continue to be considered.
Sheridan County Conservation District Director Carrie Rogaczewski gave an annual report on the district’s progress over the last year.
Rogaczewski noted that a project to monitor bank stability along the river in the Tongue River Canyon is underway with most site visits with riverfront property owners completed. That project will continue into 2014. She also said that several monitoring sites were added to last year’s Tongue River monitoring efforts, which will provide additional data on the health of the river.
Rogaczewski also emphasized how important it is for the conservation district to receive support from local communities. She said monetary support helps, but that overall support of the district and its projects is just as important when seeking state and federal grants.
“Monetary support is nice, but it really helps to look people in the eye and say, ‘Yes, we have the support of all our local communities,’” Rogaczewski said.
Typically Ranchester, Dayton, Sheridan and Sheridan County all contribute optional one-cent funds to the conservation district and other area nonprofits.