SHERIDAN — A check for $5,000 is in the mail to the Tongue River Valley Joint Powers Board from Sheridan County School District 1.

Last year Ranchester and Dayton pledged $10,000 each to fund the board while SCSD1 allocated $6,000. The board has previously discussed its hope that each entity would contribute equal amounts.

The $5,000 was the amount requested from each group this year.

The board may also be moving toward bringing the county commissioners onto the board.

There are currently representatives from Dayton and Ranchester on the board, which allows them to set prices for their constituents. However, the Wyoming Public Service Commission would regulate anyone living outside the towns that would want to hook up to the proposed natural gas pipeline.

By bringing the commissioners in, the board might be able to keep control of the pipeline local.

Likewise, a board member said the county commissioners should have some say over what happens in the county.

“They should have a seat at the table,” Norm Anderson said.

Meanwhile, the board is a step closer to finding an engineering firm to do a feasibility study on building the natural gas pipeline to the area.

They have eliminated one company that applied and are looking to narrow the applicant pool from five to three engineering firms at their Aug. 5 meeting.

Six Wyoming-based companies applied to do the study, which is being funded with a $100,000 grant from the State Loan and Investment Board.

There is some level of haste required; the board needs to apply for a grant and loan from the state 60 days before Jan. 1 in order to be eligible in the first quarter of the upcoming biennium.

Clark said the state tends to have more money at the beginning of their two-year cycle, which is the best time to apply for a grant and loan.

Once the feasibility study is completed, the board will likely apply for a grant and loan, but the amount has not yet been decided.