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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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 76. PROJECT:Little Snake River Valley Dam and Reservoir (Sandstone)
SPONSOR:State of Wyoming
LOCATION:Carbon County
PROGRAM:New Development
Purpose Chapter Session Account Appropriation Due Date
Level III 79 1988 I $5,000,000*   1998
Level III 268 1989 I $5,000,000     1998
Level III 89 1993 I $20,400,000     1998
Level III 38 1998 I $20,400,000** 2005
Level III 02 2001 I $3,8000,000     2005
*$400,000 has been allocated by statute to the Little Snake River Basin Planning Study; therefore, the total appropriation available to the project is $30,000,000.
1998 Session laws continued the $20,400,000 appropriation and extended the reversion date to 2001.

The following paragraphs give a brief project history and update. For a more detailed description of the project history please refer to the 1999 and 2000 WWDC Legislative Report.

In 1979, the legislature enacted WS 41-2-204, which described the Stage I, II, and III transbasin diversion Projects, and "in-basin needs". The 1980 Wyoming legislature directed the WWDC to ".... study the feasibility of constructing in the Little Snake River drainage above the confluence of the river and Savery Creek, a reservoir of at least 3,000 acre feet. The reservoir shall satisfy immediate in-basin agricultural, recreational, and municipal needs and shall promote in-basin water purity. In 1984, the legislature included in the WWDC project budget request criteria for a project in the Little Snake River basin. The intent was to mitigate and alleviate any water supply shortages caused by Cheyenne Stage I and Stage II projects.

The legislature in 1991 appropriated $400,000 of the $10,000,000 for a study of alternative reservoir sites in the Little Snake River basin that would be competitive with the Sandstone site. More than 20 alternative reservoir sites were identified and assessed.

This study concluded that a small 23,000 acre-foot dam was feasible at the Sandstone site. The Savery Little Snake Water Conservancy District determined that the smaller Sandstone alternative was their preferred alternative. The legislature in 1993 appropriated an additional $20,400,000 for the downsized Sandstone dam and reservoir. This appropriation brought the total appropriation to $30,000,000.

In 1997, the legislature amended the authorization for the project from "Sandstone Dam and Reservoir Project" to "Little Snake River Valley Dam and Reservoir Project". This provided a broader definition of what could be considered mitigation for Cheyenne Stage I and Stage II transbasin diversion projects. The Stage III Transbasin Diversion Project was dropped. In July 1998, the WWDC submitted a Section 404 Permit application for the High Savery Dam and Reservoir alternative. In August 1998, the Draft EIS for the Little Snake Supplemental Irrigation Water Supply Project was published. The High Savery alternative became the WWDC preferred alternative. WWDC contracted with States West Water. Resources Corp. to begin design of the High Savery Dam in August 1999. The Final EIS was published in October 1999.

The Section 404 permit and record of decision for construction of the High Savery Project were issued December 20, 2000. The Bureau of Land Management issued the right-of ways for roads and facilities and the State Land and Investment Board granted a permanent easement for the dam and facilities in early 2001. This completed the permitting process for the project.

On May 22, 2001, bids were opened. The low bidder was Ames Construction of Burnsville Minnesota, with a bid of $22,685,000. Notice to proceed was issued on June 22, 2001. Actual construction started soon thereafter.

During 2002, the contractor completed the outlet tunnel, inclined intake and control building. He also completed the foundation work and brought the fill up to approximately elevation 7206. The initial stages of the principal spillway were completed as well. The contractor plans to work through the winter of 2002/2003 and have the project operational in late summer of 2003.

Change Order #1 in the amount of $102,229.56 to improve the foundation of the Inclined Intake Vault was executed in January, 2002. Expenditures as of the end of November 2002 are $11,167,030.48 or approximately 50% of the project.

No legislative action required.

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