The Star Valley Town Council this week wrestled with its wish list, with $510,683.16 on hand to make its dreams come true.
At its July 16 meeting, the council, guided by Town Manager Tim Grier, discussed its priority list for the special projects fund — which is in addition to the $2.6 million fund reserve balance.
The council made no formal decisions, but it did have an extended discussion.
Grier said the town has already earmarked $110,000 to completing the improvements of the Milky Way Well. Star Valley is using federal grant money for the bulk of that project, but may need something extra.
That left $400,683 uncommitted.
Grier suggested spending $85,000 on road projects, perhaps additional maintenance work on roads paved and treated in the past five years. The town is working on a $7,500 streets master plan with Bruce Varker of Pinal-Gila Consulting, which should be done in October.
Councilor George Binney suggested upping the streets allocation to $100,000 and putting aside about $110,000 of the town’s Highway User Revenue Fund. He wants to build up a balance of about $500,000 to do any major road work needed in the future.
Mayor Ronnie McDaniel agreed the allocation for the road project should rise to $100,000.
“We need to be aggressive to keep our roads in shape,” he said, since bad roads damage vehicles.
Councilor Vern Leis agreed: “Streets and roads should be Number 1 and $100,000 allocated.”
Councilor Gary Coon said Star Valley must also keep money on hand for emergencies.
But Grier countered the council can always adjust its project priorities in case of an emergency.
Another possible project involves installing a pressure-reducing valve at a critical area of the town’s water system.
Binney said the $8,000 valve would help provide water even in a system failure or an emergency.
Other estimated costs for projects listed by Grier included:
• $50,000 to $80,000 to upgrade a well at the town’s Quail Hollow property.
• $30,000 to $50,000 to inspect and resurface a water tank in the Knolls.
• $10,000 to $20,000 for town welcome signs on the highway.
• $15,000 to $25,000 to improve the well on the property recently purchased by the town at 3615 E. Highway 260.
• $6,000 to $15,000 to supplement the Meals on Wheels and Senior Ridership programs in case the federal grant that supports the program is delayed.
• $20,000 to buy a propane-powered generator to run the water department during an outage.
The council said they didn’t want to approve water-related projects until the consultant finishes the Tres Rios water master plan.
McDaniel said the council must also decide on what to do with a recently purchased property, although at an earlier meeting he said the council shouldn’t rush to to make any decisions about it.
Coon said a contractor should assess the buildings.
At the July 16 meeting, Grier gave the council a report from Robert Rippy, water department director, showing the well on the new property is about 125-feet deep and produces clear, drinkable water at about 10 gallons per minute. It needs some work, which Rippy estimates will total about $14,375.