Moorcroft Leader - The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Neighbor dispute costs Moorcroft

Town obliged to spend up to $7000 after homeowner shuts off water to local business


September 26, 2019

Approximately three weeks ago, the office and shop of Moorcroft business Glenn Construction lost water service, due, apparently, to a homeowner turning off the tap.

Years ago, Glenn’s service was laid across the yard of a neighboring property, as had been done with many water pipes throughout town at the time. Within the water projects of the last several years, the councils involved have initiated corrections of these lines, including the costs in the project grants, saving the town tens of thousands of dollars overall. Glenn’s line was to be included in the renovations this coming spring.

A meter is in place on each line currently in situ, ensuring that each property pays their own rates and fees, but the neighbor has refused all attempts by the town to negotiate the reopening of the valve.

“I wish that things could have been worked out with the property owner,” said Councilman Dale Petersen. “It’s unfortunate.”

The homeowner is, however, within their rights to close a valve on their property, according to Town Attorney Jim Peck.

Because of this refusal to allow the water to continue as it lays until the line can be re-positioned during the spring water project, the town has to pay for the correction independently of the project grant, costing an estimated $4000 to $7000, according to Public Works Director Cory Allison. This amount, because it is part of the upgrade of the town water line, will be taken from the third specific fund as the budget simply cannot support the job at this time.

Allison reported the situation at Monday evening’s town council meeting and the town’s responsibility to take care of the issue: “If they’re paying their sewer [and] their water, we have to fix that. It’s the same in the winter, if one freezes up, we fix it.”

Glenn, who has not pressed the issue while the town attempted to resolve the matter, spoke of the delay to his service, saying, “I don’t want it to look like the town is doing [anybody] a favor; if it had happened to anybody else, they would be irate by now.”


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