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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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 11. 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
Level III 45 1997 I $500,000* 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. Releases from the reservoir 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. 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 final design was 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. Although the project is substantially completed, final completion of the project will be achieved in 2000. A small campground which will be inundated by the new reservoir was replaced by the Forest Service in 1999.

The town has an opportunity to exchange land with the U.S. Forest Service. The reservoir site is owned by the U.S. Forest Service. The town is acquiring private property contiguous to the national forest. The Forest Service has expressed an interest in this property. If the exchange is finalized, the town will no longer be required to obtain a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. The costs for special use permits have been escalating in recent years because they are now tied to the value of the property. Issues involving access to the property to be exchanged with the Forest Service remain to be worked out.

No legislative action is required on this project.

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