From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 106, Number 11 - March 12, 2009
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Town Council hears more on frozen pipes

by Stephen Crane

The pipes continue to freeze in the southwestern area of Pinedale, and the Pinedale Town Council heard yet another account at its meeting on Monday night.

“This is the third meeting in a row now that we’ve dealt with frozen pipes,” said councilman Dave Smith. “And there’s been a lot of good intentions and good discussion, but not much action.”

This time around, resident Barbara Boyce, who lives on Shanley Ave., was on hand to voice her complaint over frozen pipes.

“I’ve lived there 50 years and never froze up,” said Boyce. “At one time, I was the only one for blocks that wasn’t froze up. I’ve never run a bleeder until this year, and everybody scared me enough (to run one).”

Even with the bleeder, Boyce froze up, which adds her to the growing list of residents in that area that have had frozen pipes this winter.

“Both the contractors (she called to thaw her pipes) were very anxious to come and help me until I gave them my address, and then they kind of backed up,” said Boyce. “And both of them said, ‘We will come and try, but we won’t guarantee anything because you people on Shanley have a helluva mess,’ and I’m quoting. And I guess we do.”

After hearing similar complaints in recent months, Smith found it was time to find the cause and fix the problem.

“If it wasn’t doing it before we started, and it’s doing it when we’re done, then we caused it,” said Smith. “And we, being the town, the engineers, the town engineering department, we didn’t intend to. It’s not something anyone did on purpose, but it happened. And now we’ve got to figure out how to fix it.”

Because of the recent complaints that have surfaced, the town engineering department has already been working on ways to remedy the situation.

“For the subsequent phases (of the water and sewer project) for the rest of these designs, we’re going to incorporate digging up those (water) services as we do this roadwork and insulate them somehow,” said Town Engineer Eugene Ninnie. “(We’ll) also provide some kind of detail, where we can put wires on them for continuity, so it’ll be easier to thaw them out using a welder without jeopardizing adjacent properties.”

“What are we going to do about what’s already done?” asked councilwoman Nylla Kunard.

“I’ve spoken with the contractor who did this work, and he said this is a very common thing occurring in the first year,” said Ninnie. “Thereafter, it should be a problem, but I still would like to have some level of assurance myself to know that we won’t have a problem, and we have to figure that out somehow.”

As it currently stands, Pinedale Town Hall has received over $11,000 worth of bills from residents in the area who had frozen pipes this winter. Apart from reimbursing half of the cost for thawing to one resident, the council has yet to take action on the rest.

Mayor Stephen Smith asked that Town Attorney Ed Wood draft a resolution by the next council meeting that would detail a possible reimbursement plan.

“(The resolution) should be tied to the area where the construction has impacted,” said Wood.

Those residents in the area that had frozen pipes and were affected by the project construction may qualify.

Meanwhile, the two contractors that Boyce hired were unable to thaw her pipes, though she was still billed for the work. Fortunately, she was able to borrow a neighbor’s garden hose that she used to hook into her water line.

“Amazingly enough, it’s operational,” said Boyce. “Thank goodness I have nice neighbors.”


— The council had the second reading of Ordinance 446, which modifies the water and sewer connection fees for businesses in Pinedale.

According to the ordinance, which details the costs for various residential and commercial uses, from hotels and medical centers to gas stations and restaurants, the connection fees are often based on a per person or per room rate.

The fees range from a flat rate of $2,000 for each service for most residential units to $500 each per hotel room, $500 per washing machine at laundry mats, $2,000 for each set of gas pumps at filling stations, as well as many more.

The ordinance also details the connection fees for other uses, based on the size of the water line. For ¾-inch pipe, the fee is $2,000. For a six-inch pipe, the fee is $16,200 per service.

Copies of the ordinance can be picked up at Town Hall.

— The council held a public hearing on the liquor license transfer for the new owners of Wind River Pizzeria and Pasta. No one from the public commented, leading the council to vote 3-0 in approval. Councilman Dave Hohl was not present.

— The council gave approval to Wind River Brewery and the Corral Bar for a catering and malt beverage permit to cater the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s gathering on April 25.

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