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Wyoming Water Development Commission 
Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., PE, Director 
6920 Yellowtail Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82002 
Phone: 307-777-7626 

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    9. PROJECT:Buffalo Municipal Reservoir
SPONSOR:City of Buffalo
LOCATION:Johnson County
PROGRAM:New Development
Purpose Chapter Session Account Appropriation Due Date
Level III 28 1992 I $10,650,000* 1999
Level III 59 1996 I $2,450,000* 1999
*67% grant, 33% loan (4%, 50 years, 5 year deferral)

The Buffalo Municipal Reservoir Project involves development of a municipal supply storage reservoir in the Clear Creek Basin west of Buffalo. Buffalo's existing water supply is diverted from Clear Creek about six miles west of the city. After project completion, releases from the reservoir will supplement Clear Creek flow when the direct flow cannot fulfill Buffalo's water supply requirements.

The Level II - Phase I report was completed in March, 1989. The report concluded that the preferred development option included a dam and reservoir at the Lower Tie Hack site on South Clear Creek, a tributary of Clear Creek. The recommended reservoir size is 2425 acre feet and the estimated cost of the dam and reservoir was $10,650,000. In addition, the report indicated that installation of a $975,000 hydropower generation unit at the downstream end of the city's water supply pipeline could be economically advantageous. The hydropower unit is addressed as a separate project, but construction of both components is required if the total project is to be economically feasible. The report also noted that the feasibility of the project would depend on the successful transfer of Buffalo's existing 1933 filing for 1640 acre feet from Little Sourdough Creek to the dam site. This transfer was accomplished in 1990.

In 1992, the WWDC and city completed the project agreement, note and mortgage needed before the city could access project funds. The city has negotiated the necessary agreements with the Big Horn National Forest relative to the completion of the environmental impact statement. The Final Environmental Impact Statement has been published and no protests have been received. The final design has been completed and construction bids were opened and reviewed in January, 1996. The Forest Service special use permit was issued on February 23, 1996, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit was issued on March 5, 1996. Construction commenced in April, 1996, with substantial completion reached in November, 1997. The project budget has been impacted due to the excessive excavation required to reach a suitable dam foundation material.

The WWDC recommends that the project appropriation be increased from $13,100,000 to $13,600,000 or a $500,000 addition. The financing plan would remain a 67% grant and a 33% loan with an interest rate of 4% and a term of 50 years. In addition, loan payments would be deferred for a period of 5 years.

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