The reconstruction project on South Federal Boulevard begins at its intersection with East Monroe and proceeds up the hill to Washington Street. (Ernie Over photo) 

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The question of having decorative street lights of the type that adorns Riverton’s downtown to be placed on South Federal during a reconstruction project slated to begin this coming spring was decided long ago. But a shortfall in funding brought the issue back up at the Riverton City Council meeting Tuesday night.

City Administrator Steven Weaver said the winning bid for the project was $5.1 million by Reiman Corp. of Cheyenne. Since the project is one by the Wyoming Department of Transportation, WYDOT had asked the city to concur with the bid award.

“With the bid higher than engineer’s estimates that we based our budget on, there was a $555,603 shortfall on our portion of the project that we needed to make up,” Weaver said. “Staff gave the council a rundown of various capital projects around the city that had been budgeted and suggested that some of them could be delayed by a year, with the funding go instead to the South Federal Project.”

Weaver said that since the project is on a state highway and funded mostly by WYDOT, it would be “crazy” for the city not to concur with the bid award.

“We had planned to replace storm water and water and sewer lines under South Federal, and it makes total sense to do that now so we don’t have to dig up the street after its reconstructed if there is a problem. Then we’d have to bear the entire cost of the project,” he said. “and damage the integrity of the street.”

Weaver and the city staff recommended that $144,000 of the storm sewer and sewer replacement costs be funded from the optional one cent tax monies. “That’s what the tax was passed for, infrastructure improvements on our streets, and this certainly qualifies,” he said. Weaver said that recommendation would be forwarded to the City’s one cent tax citizens committee for review.

The City Administrator said council members Richard Gard and Todd Smith objected to keeping the lighting costs in the project, which amounted to about $55,000 since WYDOT was responsible for a good share of the lighting.

The vote to concur with the bid award was 5-2, with Gard and Smith voting no.