City Drops Bridle Trail Property Swap
The City of Casper won't be swapping one of its properties for one owned by a man whose land overlaps the Rotary Park Bridle Trail on Casper Mountain, City Manager V.H. McDonald said.
"City staff has determined that it is not feasible to continue forward with the trade of this City parcel at this time," according to the statement from McDonald's office.
That decision means the Casper City Council will not have a public hearing about the proposed trade at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Michael C. Reed approached the city about exchanging land. He owns more than 100 acres on Casper Mountain, and the popular trail goes through his land.
Because of the hassles he had been having with some hikers, Reed offered to trade his land for city owned land with approximately the same $1.7 million value, McDonald said.
The city offered to exchange a parcel at 21st Street and Wyoming Boulevard, and council set the Jan. 5 date for the public hearing.
Meanwhile, two people whose property is next to the city-owned lot raised objections to council on Dec. 15. They said documents filed with the Natrona County Clerk state the land was to be dedicated for a park. They also questioned what would happen to their property values if commercial development was allowed to occur on the city land.
Despite these objections, city staff determined that there was no merit in the concerns that were raised, McDonald said.
He declined to comment specifically about why city staff came to that conclusion.
Instead, the discovery of a gas line easement on the parcel killed the agreement, McDonald said.
"The easement was just something that would take a long time to clear up, we believe, but longer than it would take to swap for other property," he said.
The city still wants a land trade to secure a substantial portion of the Bridle Trail for continued public use, and is looking at other properties, McDonald said.