Only one of the four Fremont County towns that applied for local government American Rescue Plan Act funding from the state this year was successful in its request.
The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments recommended fully funding the two grant applications the Town of Shoshoni sent in to the local government ARPA program this year.
The requests were for $1.05 million for a well house and wells, and about $258,000 for a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to monitor town wells.
The funding will help Shoshoni “ensure functionality and proper distribution of safe drinking water,” according to the resolution the Shoshoni Town Council approved in January authorizing the grant applications.
Mayor Joel Highsmith pointed out that Shoshoni had requested funding for the same projects last year, through the state’s sewer and water ARPA grant program, but those applications were denied.
State officials had advised the town to submit the same requests to the local government ARPA program this year, he said.
Town staff estimated it would take about six months to complete the projects.
The City of Lander submitted three applications for local government ARPA grants, all of which were denied.
The city’s No. 1 priority was a $7.5 million request for Table Mountain Living Community construction.
The OSLI noted in its report that the Table Mountain project might be a “better fit” under a different grant program that would allow staff “time to work with the entity to find eligible project costs.”
Lander had also asked for $7.3 million to support a streets and utility project and $3.3 million for a headworks structure at the city sewer lagoons.
Riverton submitted two grant applications that were denied: a $1.3 million request for a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system upgrade at City Hall and Central Wyoming Regional Airport, and a $666,000 request for stormwater infrastructure replacements on Webbwood Road.
“The city put together a strong application,” city administrator Kyle Butterfield told the Riverton City Council during a recent meeting. “But there were just so many proposals for (the state) to review, and there wasn’t enough money to go around.”
The Wyoming Legislature set aside $50 million for local government ARPA grants in 2022, according to the OSLI report – but the program received 97 applications for funding totaling more than $180 million.
OSLI noted in its report that Riverton already received some ARPA money through the agency’s water and sewer grant program last year.
The Town of Dubois submitted one application to the local government ARPA program, requesting almost $2 million for water and storm sewer improvements on Meckem Street.
That request was denied, with the OSLI noting that, like Riverton, Dubois had already received ARPA funding from through the agency’s water and sewer grant program.