Riverton requesting state ARPA money for water meter replacement

The Riverton City Council approved a resolution Tuesday allowing staff to apply for federal American Rescue Plan Act money through the State Loan and Investment Board for water and sewer infrastructure.

ARPA provided $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief funding nationwide, including $1.68 billion for the State of Wyoming, public works director Kyle Butterfield said in his council report.

This year, state legislators appropriated about $334 million of that ARPA money to “established priorities,” he said, including $50 million for water and sewer improvements.

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“The legislature is taking their first stab at getting (the money) to the communities in different programs in the state,” Butterfield told the council this week, adding, “These are competitive grants, so communities across the state have the opportunity to put in an application in order to receive a portion of this $50 million.”

Aging meters

Riverton is asking for almost $3 million to support an ongoing water meter replacement project, Butterfield said, explaining that most of the city’s water meters are “no longer supportive.”

“They’re aging, out of date, and they do not meet low-lead requirements,” he said. “When a meter fails, we cannot repair it and put it back in service.”

The city has “incrementally” replaced about 500 of its meters over the years, Butterfield said, but there are about 4,000 units that still need to be addressed.

“This project would support a complete replacement of all the meters in town,” he said.

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The money would also be used to upgrade Riverton’s meter-reading system, which currently requires staff to drive through town to pick up broadcast readings, Butterfield said.

The new system would allow the city to have “fixed locations on towers that will actually broadcast information from one specific meter (to) City Hall,” he said.

The change will allow for “better customer service” and more “efficient operations,” Butterfield said, and it’s “the best way for us to track potable water use through the city.”

Grant match

The SLIB grant requires a $568,000 match that will be split between Riverton’s water and wastewater funds, Butterfield said.

“That money is not in the current budget,” he noted, “however public works staff and finance staff have already been looking at what we have in our capital reserves, and we have the ability to match this.”

For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.

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