"Setting the Record Straight" Part 2 of 3
Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@K2tv.com
The town of Pavillion in Fremont County is the center of attention when it comes to the topic of water contamination and fracking.
Yesterday in part one of "Setting the Record Straight" we heard from home owners whose property values are suffering even though their water wells are fine.
Today in part two of her series, K2's Victoria Fregoso introduces us to a restaurant owner that is losing business because patrons fear the water served at her restaurant is contaminated.
This is Miss Ginny's Roost. Located in the town of Pavillion, Ginny Warren started her business in 2007 after moving to Wyoming from New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina. "It's a little steakhouse out in the middle of no where, you have to want to go there. You don't just drive by and say "oh, that looks interesting." Being Pavillion's only restaurant, it was a success, drawing in patrons from all over Fremont County. "In 2010 that was our peak year, we started hearing about the Pavillion water problems and I didn't pay much attention to it because I'm in town, the town has five wells, they're all tested, they're all safe, the water tastes pretty good so I never gave it another thought." But Ginny started paying closer attention when her book keeper pointed out business dropped by 60% over the past two years. "My mortgage payment is not down 60%, my utilities aren't down 60% and my beef for my steaks certainly aren't down, it's up like 20%." It was the headlines and stories on Pavillion's water contamination, that is causing her to lose business. "I get a call at Christmas, "Oh, I'm sorry, we have that party scheduled and my guests have been calling, they don't want to come to Pavillion because of the water," and I was stunned." When visiting neighboring towns to go shopping, Ginny often times finds herself trying to explain that it's only in a small number of wells that are effected north-east of Pavillion. Someone even tried selling her a $4,000 water filtration system to display in her restaurant. "Well, A, I don't have $4,000 right now," Ginny said with a laugh. "And B, I'm not sure that it would filter out what ever it is that's supposed to be contaminating and C, our water is fine." When asked if she fears what will become of her restaurant, Ginny said all she can do is go day by day and take one step at a time. "Right now, I couldn't give that restaurant away. The perception is the town of Pavillion water is bad. It is not."