While the discussion about the $5.3 million contract for a new lodge at the Hogadon Ski Area dominated the agenda last week, Casper City Council also approved a number of other contracts and agreements on its consent resolution.

City council approved nearly $37,000 to hire a coordinator to oversee the preparations and events leading to the Aug. 21, 2017, total eclipse of the sun over Casper.

The money will go to the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau-associated Wyoming Eclipse Festival nonprofit corporation.

Other EclipseFest contributors include the Downtown Development Authority, which has pledged $7,000, and the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance, which has pledged $37,000. All these agencies receive public funds.

CACVB director Brook Kreder said last week the EclipseFest is expected to draw between 10,000 and 20,000 visitors, with another 10,000 arriving on Aug. 21.

Council also approved the Community Development Block Grant action plan for the fiscal year 2016-2017. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $287,280 -- plus $982 in program income and $65,903 in carryover funds -- to Casper, and now the city will be taking suggestions for how to use that funding.

Some of the potential uses for the funding include supporting community transit systems, rehabilitation of buildings at the Life Steps Campus, rehabilitation of low income housings, and funding for rehabilitating deteriorating buildings downtown.

Council approved these other agreements:

  • A three-year agreement with Thomson Reuters for Westlaw Book and Internet Law Library Services for the City Attorney's Office.
  • Approving at amendment to the lease between the city and the Casper Family YMCA. (The city owns the land used by the YMCA.)
  • An agreement with Sharp Iron Services for $38,890 to buy a device for the gravity thickener unit at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • An application for a hazard mitigation program grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $221,625 for Garden Creek fire breaks and ground fuel mitigation.
  • An agreement with Wyoming Machinery Company for $498,000 for the Casper Events Center emergency generator project.
  • Rescinding an agreement with Phipps Construction and authorizing an agreement for $187,870 with Haass Construction Co. for the Stuckenhoff Shooters project.
  • Authorizing an agreement with Hedquist Construction, Inc., for $1,550,000 for the East 21st Street improvements project.