(Riverton, WY) A resident of the All Nations subdivision in Riverton expressed his concerns about the quality of roads and speed limits at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“We have gravel roads, and the children play out there,” said Jose Proo, who said he was speaking on behalf of the All Nations community. “There is no way any vehicle coming at 25 mph can stop on a dime. I perceive seeing many accidents going through there.”
Proo said that the subdivision has been a part of the City of Riverton since 1986, and “we have not yet had any kind of paved roads,” he said. “We did have paved roads coming into the streets, but when they had done the sewer for the city, they never came back to repave the beginning of the roads.”
Another issue mentioned by Proo was the problem of emergency vehicles being able to access the community, saying that the neighborhood consists of several older and disabled residents.
“Last winter, we had big puddles and a lot of ice out there,” he said, “and you’re either going to run into them, or they can’t come in fast enough. They have to come in slow, and by that time, someone can pass away.”
Proo said that he had recently talked with City Adminstrator Kyle Butterfield about getting the roads paved, doing a speed survey to get the speed limit dropped down, and looking into the possibilities of grant money and funding to help pay for improvements.
“It’s important for me to get this area cleaned up, drug-free, and have pride in where we live,” he continued. “We pay our taxes, as well as everybody else…it’s bad, but I want to see it better. I’m willing to do a lot of leg work myself to get what we need out there. It’s important for us to move forward and try to have a better place to live where we’re at. I know we’re a bunch of trailers, but we still live and pay our taxes. It’s important.”
Mayor Richard Gard said that they could address the speed limit if they wanted it lowered, as those are set by the City Council. When it comes to paving, they would need to form a homeowner’s association (HOA), and the maintenance would come at a cost.
Proo said that they did have an HOA, but that it consisted of an older group of three people and that it was difficult to contact them. Additionally, the attorney that was helping with the subdivision’s HOA documentation and paperwork had passed away. Proo said that there was an agreement between the HOA and the City of Riverton that they “were going to have roads put in there, and things done.”
The Mayor said that the City would look into finding out what the contract says, but ultimately an HOA would have to pay for improvements and obligated taxes.
“We already pay our taxes,” Proo said. “That’s what I’m saying. We’ve been paying for so long…and also, the water we can’t even get to use because…the County doesn’t even come in and clean the rural area, so we can’t even use the [irrigation] water rights.”
Proo also referred to backflow issues with the sewer. “If you turn off the neighbor on #88, the neighbor on #87 sewer gets cut off at the same time,” he said. “Those are the problems that we’ve been dealing with…it comes out of our pocket, we had to pay for that, too. We’re paying for it, and we still haven’t got that fixed.”
On existing roads, Mayor Gard said that it is “the City’s obligation to keep the gravel roads in a condition that’s safe for your HOA,” he said. “Pockets holding water and ice and those kinds of things, we need to address immediately.”
Councilwoman Kristy Salisbury addressed the Mayor: “I think the area that you’re talking about…I don’t think there’s a lot of available income when you say that homeowners will have to pay for that,” she said. “It is a new opportunity tax zone…the Department of Transportation has some safe streets and roads funding for lower-income…it is in a new market tax opportunity zone…lots of school kids live there; I know what you’re talking about,” she directed to Proo.
Mayor Gard asked Proo that they set up a meeting with himself, City Administrator Kyle Butterfield, as well as Councilman Kyle Larson, who sits on the “Fix Our Roads Citizen Committee” (FORCC) to address the issues with the All Nations subdivision.
To watch the Riverton City Council meetings online, visit the City of Riverton YouTube Channel.