Town lands SLIB money for levee work

by nathan oster

The State Lands and Investments Board on Jan. 15 awarded a Mineral Royalties Grant in the amount of $107,000 to the Town of Greybull, which will use the money to make improvements to its levee system.

The town’s application for funding was not among those that were originally recommended for funding, but a contingent from the town, including Administrator Paul Thur and Jake Wright of Nelson Engineering swayed the SLIB board to fund the work.

Overall, the SLIB board awarded a total of $10.89 million in infrastructure grants across the state. Four of those grants went to entities in Big Horn County. Lovell received $370,000 for improvements to a lift station, Cowley got $632,000 for a drainage project and North Big Horn Hospital got the largest award, $821,000, for improvements to the hospital and clinic facilities.

Thur said the town’s SLIB award requires a $40,000 local match.

It was a critical step in the town’s efforts to get its levee recertified.

With the grant money the town will be able to replace all of the hardware at every point of penetration along the levee. By doing so, the town will be addressing one of the three major deficiencies that were identified in its levee system, which protects the town from the Big Horn River.

AMEC, which is doing the levee certification, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined Nelson and Thur in support of the town’s MRG grant application.

In other town infrastructure news, the tie-ins to connect the Big Horn Regional and town water systems were completed on Wednesday, Jan. 14. Residents were without water for several hours during the day while the work was being completed.

Clay Collingwood, the town council’s liaison to the Big Horn Regional Joint Powers Board, said one of the tie-ins is directly south of the Davis Lane turnoff, approximately eight miles east of Greybull. The other is near the home of John Arney.

Collingwood said the connection of the water systems has yet to occur, as some pipe must still be put in the ground. “They should have it done around the first of March,” he said.

In addition to connecting the two systems, the new pipes were upsized so that they could be utilized to bring water to the town in the even a break at some point along the town’s main transmission line.