State awards ARPA grants to Riverton, Dubois for water, sewer projects; no funding for Lander, Shoshoni

The State of Wyoming received 113 applications for funding through its American Rescue Plan Act water and sewer grant program this year, including 16 from municipalities in Fremont County.

The State Loan and Investment Board approved two of those local funding requests during a meeting last week, awarding $2.98 million to the City of Riverton for automated metering infrastructure and almost $1.09 million to the Town of Dubois for liner and outlet replacements at the municipal wastewater treatment plant.

The rest of the local grant requests were not awarded, including:

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  • $1.97 million for the Town of Dubois for water and storm sewer improvements on Meckem Street
  • $279,900 for the Town of Shoshoni for control system upgrades
  • $581,220 for the Town of Shoshoni for water storage tank improvements
  • $1.13 million for the Town of Shoshoni for well houses and wells
  • $552,500 for the City of Lander for Fremont Street improvements
  • $4.08 million for the City of Lander for Cascade Street improvements
  • $4.5 million for the City of Lander for First Street improvements
  • $4.675 million for the City of Lander for a headworks structure for the municipal sewer lagoons
  • $5.3 million for the City of Lander for Lincoln Street improvements
  • $5.695 million for the City of Lander for Buena Vista improvements
  • $5.865 million for the City of Lander for Fifth Street improvements
  • $1.02 million for the City of Lander for McFarlane Drive improvements

More money

During last week’s SLIB meeting, state officials pointed out that Wyoming received almost $225.5 million in requests for funding through the ARPA water and sewer grant program, which only offered $50 million total.

Wyoming Rep. Evan Simpson, R-Afton, said legislators are working on a bill to extend the grant program and “inject some new money” into it from the state’s “remaining ARPA funds.”

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said that idea “makes a lot of sense.”

“(There is) a real desire on our part to try to figure out how to fund as many of these as we possibly can,” Gordon said. “There were a lot of needs out there developing over the last couple of years. … Particularly, our smaller towns (have) had challenges.”

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Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith asked the board to keep looking for ways to fulfill the grant requests that weren’t awarded last week, agreeing that “mid-size and smaller communities … have trouble doing these projects for ourselves.”

“Maybe we can find a way to fund them,” Highsmith said.

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