The town officially OK’d a water and sewer connection Monday for the new Jackson Hole Classical Academy campus in South Park.
Because the town plans to study its wastewater system’s capacity and rate structure in the coming year, the agreement for water and sewer is “temporary.”
That means the Classical Academy can connect the interim modular campus it plans to open to students this fall.
However, when it builds a permanent campus and requires more water and sewer usage, amendments to the agreement with the town may be required, or rates may be raised in accordance with the results of the study.
The agreement was approved 4-1 by the Jackson Town Council, with councilor Jim Stanford opposed.
“I think what’s really important is for the town of Jackson to make sure that the wastewater treatment plant can meet the current and future needs of the town of Jackson,” Stanford said. “This school is outside of the town of Jackson, and we’re under no obligation to provide the service.”
Councilor Arne Jorgensen said the town must address its “very inefficient” way of dealing with sewer hookups one at a time, but for now a hookup for the Academy makes sense.
“The reality is, our groundwater will be better off if we’re attaching to our sewer system and if we’re using the town water system,” he said.
Councilor Jonathan Schechter agreed.
“It strikes me as far better to hook the Classical Academy into the sewer system than to have a leach field or a septic system,” he said.
The Academy has been searching for a permanent home for years. In January, after Teton County commissioners rejected its request to amend rural regulations limiting building sizes, the Academy successfully pushed Wyoming state legislators to approve a law exempting private schools from county zoning authority as long as they are “substantially similar” to the guidelines that govern public school facilities.
Under the new law the Academy is building the interim campus with hopes of later building a permanent campus.