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Casper City Council Discusses Modified Crandall Arambula Plan

Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

Casper City Council discussed several proposed modifications to a controversial downtown strategic redevelopment study at a regular work session on Tuesday morning.

Council discussed multiple amendments to the downtown revitalization plan submitted by Portland-based consulting firm Crandall Arambula last year.

Casper mayor Kenyne Schlager says the previous plan had several components many councilors liked.

“We do agree that we need some type of outdoor downtown space where the public can gather,” Schlager said. “We also agree with the (part of the) plan where it talks about way-finding signage and creating an exciting entrance to our downtown that’s recognizable.”

Crandall Arambula’s vision also included the demolition of the Natrona County Public Library and the construction of several parking and housing structures on top of existing businesses.

Schlager says the firm overstepped its boundaries.

“Consultants come in and they have a vision, and it doesn’t matter what’s currently there,” Schlager said. “What we’re trying to do is take their vision but make it realistic for downtown and not put a building on top of somebody’s business.”

“We want those business-owners to stay (and) we want to take care of them,” Schlager said.

Crandall Arambula’s plan also championed recently-scrapped plans to construct a $50 million hotel and conference center at the corner of West Yellowstone Highway and South David Street.

Schlager says, though council will not support any future plans for a downtown conference center, several councilors would still like to see a new downtown hotel.

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