Setting The Record Straight- Part 1 of 3
Victoria Fregoso reports, firstname.lastname@example.org
The town of Pavillion in Fremont County has been in the spotlight over the past few years due to media coverage on contaminated water wells.
In part one of a three part series, K-2's Victoria Fregoso tells another side of the story.
A story of home owners with water wells that are not contaminated but their property values are going down and it's next to impossible to sell land.
Wyoming residents, along with people across the United States and around the world are familiar with the town of Pavillion Wyoming through a countless number of articles, documentaries and television coverage. Most of these messages say Pavillion water is contaminated, could cause illnesses and it isn't safe to drink. But this is only true for a small number of wells in the area and it's taking a toll on home owners with clean, safe water. "The great majority of the wells in this area are fine," said Jon Martin, a Pavillion resident. "There is nothing wrong with them. The problem is in the perception that has been presented." Jon owns this home in Pavillion, just recently he tried selling it but didn't have any luck and now it's off the market. It had nothing to do with the home itself, but the stories on water in Pavillion. "With out exception, every person that walked through my house to look at it to buy asked me about the water and even though I had the EPA letter in hand, you could still tell the perception was there." Just like Jon, his friend Steve Hugus experienced a similar problem when trying to sell land. "Several prospects, both in state and out of state who eventually called me and said "Steve, I'm not interested in your property because I hear the water is not good or you can't get good water there." Steve said he believes his water is better than most surrounding communities, the water well on his property is shallow, which is part of the reason why his water is ok. "People who drill deep water wells often encounter gas, shallow wells don't have that problem." This group of friends all share similar stories and they believe they stayed quiet for too long. "We didn't comment too much with the neighbors because we didn't really view ourselves as having a dog in the fight as we weren't effected," said Vince Dolbow, whose family has lived in Pavillion since 1974. But the media coverage of Pavilion isn't only effecting the beliefs of people that hear it, it's also impacting what the banks will and won't do for Pavillion residents. "Now there are secondary mortgage markets that are starting to take a second look at Pavillion paper and this has the effect now of possibly going from a couple of people being effected to an entire community," said Dolbow. So now, they're hoping to set the record straight. "We need to get the whole story out there. Not just half of it. We need to get all of it out there. And then hopefully this perception will change over time," Martin said.