Sheridan County’s Commissioners have voted to allow Johnson County to purchase Sheridan County’s interests in Lake DeSmet water rights and management.
The vote dissolves the Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition, a panel made up of members from both commissions to manage the lake in the past. The commissioners voted unanimously to sell Sheridan County’s interests in the lake for half a million dollars, to be paid by Johnson County at the rate of $100,000 per year for five years.
With the purchase, Johnson County would have to endorse a lease with the Game and Fish Department and higher state authorities must agree with the action taken as well.
The deal has those who don’t totally agree with it.
Dave Garber is the chairman of the LDCC chair. He’s from Sheridan County. He says he’s uneasy about Johnson County’s unmediated control of the lake.
All parties involved in current Lake DeSmet negotiations are meeting the Game and Fish Department in Rock Springs next week to negotiate the water lease.