Sublette County may get $12 million for gas impacts
Part of $100 million local aid proposal by Governor Dave Freudenthal
November 14, 2005
Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal's 2007-08 budget recommendations will include $100 million to assist counties in Wyoming that are impacted by natural gas development. Eight Wyoming counties are targeted for direct disbursement of $100 million over the 2007-08 biennium to meet infrastructure needs. Sublette County’s proposed share for towns is $12 million.
"Right now, the state gets the revenue, and the local governments get the bill," Freudenthal said about the adverse impacts from increased production. "The surge in natural gas production has strained some local budgets in Wyoming to the breaking point as towns and counties try to meet dramatically increased needs for infrastructure."
These impacts include such things as road repair and dust mitigation necessitated by increased truck traffic, for example, as well as additional strain on water and sewer systems. The proposal puts the responsibility at the local level by granting county commissioners the authority to determine how to spend the money. The plan will give county commissions and cities the opportunity to show that they can work together to meet communities' needs.
The governor's total budget request for local community aid is $319 million. About $219 million includes assistance ranging from clean water grants to direct aid to cities, towns and counties as well as the Business-Ready Communities and Community Facilities programs. The $100 million in special impact aid is in addition to the other $219 million in funding for local governments in the governor's budget recommendations.
The eight counties receiving the impact money would not be eligible for federal mineral royalty money, though they could still apply for grants such as the Business-Ready Community and Community Facilities programs. Taking the eight impacted counties out of the competition for the federal mineral royalty money gives the others better access, said Gillette Mayor Duane Evenson, the LGCC project chair for the impact proposal.
The proposed amounts per county are:
Campbell: $9 million
Carbon: $12 million
Fremont: $9 million
Johnson: $17 million
Natrona: $7 million
Sheridan: $17 million
Sublette: $12 million
Sweetwater: $17 million
TOTAL: $100 million