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Casper City Council Asks SLIB to Reconsider Funding Vote

Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

Casper City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night asking the Wyoming State Land Investment Board to reconsider a decision in January that denied infrastructure funding for a proposed hotel and conference center near downtown Casper.

Council approved the resolution 7-1 and will now formally ask SLIB to re-evaluate its 4-1 decision that disallowed the city access to $5 million in grants and loans for the project. City officials say the money would have been put toward water, sewer and curb improvements at the proposed complex site west of Casper’s downtown core on Amoco Reuse land.

Casper mayor Paul Meyer says council is showing support for the multi-million dollar complex that perhaps wasn’t there previously.

“What we’ve seen is a galvanization behind us of Casper citizens,” Meyer said. “Casper is calling out – Natrona County is calling out for us to be bold and do something that will make a difference in the long-term for the county.”

Ward I councilor Keith Goodenough was the lone dissenting vote. He says he has issues with certain aspects of the funding.

“The city is going to potentially be on the hook for a $2.8 million loan to the developers, and my concerns are the conditions of the loan,” Goodenough said. “I don’t have any issues with a conference center per se, it’s just how the public money is protected.”

Ward II councilor Craig Hedquist was absent for Tuesday’s meeting.

City officials will now submit the signed resolution to members of SLIB. SLIB is scheduled to meet Thursday in Cheyenne.

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