Jan 20, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterThe City of Riverton submitted a grant application Monday to the Fremont County School District 25 Recreation Board to ask for help with the cost of developing the proposed "green space" at 422 E. Main St. in downtown Riverton.
The city asked for $80,000 that would be put toward preparing the site and building a pavilion, gazebo, public restrooms, a patterned walk path, and landscaping.
"This plan will turn a mundane parking lot into a central gem for our community to use and enjoy as we please," read the city's project summary to the board.
The city reported in the application that the total cost of the project as designed was estimated by a local contractor to be $227,500.
The board administers these sums of money from the generated property taxes or the 1-mill levy authorized by the Wyoming Legislature to help public services and schools.
Mayor Ron Warpness said he hopes the grant is approved. Otherwise the project may not move forward.
"It will probably die for lack of support," Warpness said.
The city already has requested assistance from the Rocky Mountain Power Grant, Wyoming Community Gas Distribution, Wind River Visitors Council and other in-kind contributions.
After buying the site, the city last year demolished the former dry cleaning building that had sat vacant for years.
The lot was listed for sale for several months, but there were no takers. It is being used informally as a parking lot.
Lars Flanagan, the former president of the recreation board, said the city approached the board in November to discuss how the board could help in the proposed project.
Flanagan said an unusually high number of grant applications was submitted Monday, the due date for all grant applications.
"We had more requests for grants yesterday than in the last eight years," he said Tuesday.
By the end of the month the board will decide which applications it will approve, and the applicants will be notified in February. The board awards more than $100,000 each year to groups that will use the funds toward recreational projects for, but not limited to, the school district.
The board's guidelines also state "any items" purchased with the awarded funds will become the property of the board.
Warpness said the salvaged "Riverton" block letters from the old Riverton High School building could be used again. The city's summary said the letters would "help us link our past with our present" and be placed "as part of the entrance signage" as shown in a drawing done by an artist last year.
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