LINGLE – At its Aug. 21 meeting the Lingle council heard from state Rep. Shelly Duncan about the difficulty in securing funding in the wake of last month’s Gering-Ft. Laramie-Goshen irrigation canal tunnel collapse.
Duncan said that the state’s attorney general determined that irrigation districts are not eligible statutorily to receive an emergency Mineral Royalty Grant. The Goshen Irrigation District operates the canal and the United States Bureau of Reclamation owns the tunnel.
“There’s some EPA funds,” Duncan said, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency. “It’s a conservation loan. Anytime you’re dealing with the EPA, it’s kind of scary because there might be things tied to that down the line.”
She mentioned a geological survey that showed a gap between the tunnel and soil, which could indicate the cause of the collapse was a maintenance flaw or an act of nature.
Council Member Greg Asa pointed out that an act of nature determination would be necessary for crop insurance to take effect. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Friday that crop insurance will cover the affected farmers.
Duncan related that she has been talking to the state’s congressional delegation and is in discussion with state lawmakers about changing the law to make it easier for special districts to take on debt in emergencies like this.
“Not a good situation for us,” Duncan said. “But we can help not have this happen again.”
“Freak accident” at pool
Pool manager Brandi Hill described to the council an incident on Aug. 10 involving a pool guest at a private party. A man broke his toe after using the slide.
“Once the pressure from the water left the toe, there was blood everywhere,” Hill said. She attempted to apply pressure, as the toe was sliced open.
“I wasn’t digging for gory details,” Asa exclaimed, after prompting her to tell the story.
Hill said that the man received first aid at the pool and elected to go to Douglas for medical treatment.
“He called me up after all the repair was done and complimented Brandi and staff over and over,” Mayor George Siglin said. “He said it was just a freak accident.”
Asa spoke about the value of first aid training sessions for pool staff. “They may seem like going through the motions, but if you have something like this happen, you know how to deal with it.”
A Facebook post on the Lingle Pool page from Aug. 15 complimented lifeguard Scott Gilchriest for being calm, professional, and helpful during the incident.
On Siglin’s recommendation, the council approved Anna Barnes of Torrington to be the town’s new attorney.
Town clerk Richard Reyes reminded council members that the schedule for September’s council meetings will be different, with the next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Reyes added that he sent all liquor license renewals to local distributors and sent nuisance letters to property owners whose weeds and yards required abatement.
The council held an executive session to discuss personnel and took no action.