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    Shoshoni Town Council passes fiscal year 2025 budget on first reading, with two councilmembers voting ‘no’

    The Shoshoni Town Council voted 3-2 to approve their fiscal year 2025 budget on first reading this week.

    The two “no” votes came from Councilmembers Bob Zent and Mike Dimick.

    Broken meters

    Zent said he opposed the budget because of the increase in water rates included in the proposal.

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    The proposed budget would raise the town’s minimum monthly water rate by $1, with a $4 monthly increase for wastewater, Shoshoni Police Department Chief Chris Konija said this week.

    As a result, Konija said, the minimum monthly water rate in Shoshoni would rise to $38, and the minimum rate for wastewater would rise to $42.

    “The increased rate is required to ensure fiscal solvency as mandated by law and provide for required upgrades and repairs,” Konija said, noting that there have also been “unexpected increases in production.”  

    But Zent said he couldn’t support “adding more water bills when we have meters that do not work.”

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    “We talked about this previously,” Zent said. “I know of at least two (broken meters), and we’ve talked about them, and they have not been repaired. I won’t support the increase in water bills until all the meters are fixed.”

    Between five and 10 local water meters are currently down, Konija said, and they’re difficult to repair because they “are so old” that providers no longer carry the needed equipment.

    One way to address the issue is to transition to a remote meter-reading system, Konija said – a costly proposition.

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    “It’s going to be a couple hundred thousand (dollars),” he said. “There’s no way we’d be able to put it in the budget. … But that is something that we need to get done.”

    Konija suggested the town consider applying to the Wyoming Water Development Commission for a loan to help cover the project.

    Priorities

    Mayor Joel Highsmith agreed that “definitely meters (are) an issue” that “we’ve identified … for several years,” but he also pointed out that the town had to prioritize upgrading its water supply system first.

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    “The most important thing was to upgrade our water supply so we got water,” Highsmith said. “We had to fix what we were doing. … We all agreed on that.”

    Once the upgrades are completed, Konija recommended the council list water meter replacements as its “highest priority.”

    “Sure,” Highsmith said. “I think it’s something we should look at a little harder next year. It’s high on my list to do. We need to do it. But (there’s) only so much we can do at a time.”

    Konija said he would research the situation and provide more information at the next council meeting.

    The council will vote on the budget two more times before it passes.

    For more information, call the Town of Shoshoni at 876-2515.

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