2 Fremont County AML grant applications move forward

by | Oct 14, 2019 11:37AM

Five applications from Fremont County were submitted for the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Grant in July 2019. Two of the five applications were selected by the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) last week move to the final step of the process; approval from Wyoming’s Governor.

Department of Environmental Public Information Officer Keith Guille explained the Governor’s approval could take up to six months. Keith shared, $20.6 million in AML Grant funds are available for projects statewide. Forty-seven applications were submitted from across Wyoming with over $84 million requested in funds.

The two applications from Fremont County moving forward include the City of Lander for water tank replacement and the Popo Agie Conservation District for Middle Popo Agie River levee restoration.

The City of Lander could receive $3.56 million for their project.

Lander’s Assistant Mayor Rajean Fossen shared, regular maintenance inspections on the city’s water tanks have shown their roofs are failing on all of the tanks which could lead to contaminated drinking water. Rajean noted the tanks are old and at least one dates back to the 1940s.

Rajean explained, after reviewing estimates to repair the roofs, the most cost-effective option was to tear down the old tanks and replace them with one 4 million gallon tank. The awarded AML funds cover just the tank portion of the replacement. Their plan is to go back to SLIB for more grant funding to cover the pump station. Rajean said, “The grant was greatly appreciated but to save water users money more grant funding is needed.”

The expected timeframe for project completion is three years and the current roof situation should be okay during this time, shared Rajean.

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The Popo Agie Conservation District could receive $311,000 in AML Grant funds for their project.
District Manager for the Popo Agie Conservation District Kelsey Beck directed us to talk with homeowner Jim Corbett who played a significant role in the grant application.
Jim said, “For years in our homeowners’ area we have had to sandbag to keep the Popo Agie River inbounds.” Jim explained the project will restore a levee near Deer Valley Drive, the road going through the housing district. They also plan to clean out the river bottom and install a headgate for irrigation.
The homeowners partnered with the Popo Agie Conservation District to submit an application for the AML Grant after being unsuccessful with other grants. Homeowners in the area fronted money over a year ago to have a conceptual plan drawn by an engineering firm. Jim said, “[We] feel fortunate to receive that money.”
After almost losing a homeowner a few years ago while sandbagging, Jim shared their project was “one of the few that could show a health and safety issue.”

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