Mills seeks block grants to replace aging fire hydrants, expand broadband access - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Mills seeks block grants to replace aging fire hydrants, expand broadband access

(File Photo; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — The City of Mills is seeking Community Development Block Grants for the replacement of fire hydrants and the expansion of broadband internet access in the city.

The Mills City Council held a public hearing Tuesday on its proposal to seek the grants. Letters of intent have already been submitted, and formal applications are due September 30. The grants are available through the Wyoming Community Development Authority.

Mills is seeking up to $500,000 to replace a number of hydrants throughout the community. Bob Lanz, the Mills fire chief, said at a work session in August that as many as 100 fire hydrants needed to be replaced. Mayor Seth Coleman estimated that the $500K might replace about half of them.

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Lanz told the council Tuesday that over a dozen hydrants didn’t have ports that would accommodate modern large-diameter hoses, and that hook-ups that could take place relatively quickly currently required “threading and threading and threading.”

Mills is also seeking up to $750,000 for broadband infrastructure access throughout the city. Mills’ Community Development Director Sabrina Kemper told the council that the grant is specifically available through federal COVID-19 relief funding. She added that there was no match requirement for the grant, though being able to put up some funding might increase the city’s chance of securing it. 

Coleman told Oil City News that securing reliable broadband access would help make the city more attractive to remote workers. 

No one spoke in favor or against either of the grant application proposals.