The Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization presented a recommendation to the Casper City Council to authorize a contract so it can begin preparing its five-year long-range transportation plan.

MPO officials presented the recommendation at city council's Tuesday work session.

MPO planner Sally Kerpchar says the project is critical for Casper and the surrounding communities of Evansville, Mills and Bar Nunn.

"The long-range transportation plan's entire purpose is to look into the future, to look into where expected development will be, and to determine where we need to put more infrastructure in, where we need more roads, and where we need more trail connectivity," Kerpchar says.

The MPO is asking council to authorize a pair of contracts. One contract, worth $299,500, will be put toward the MPO's long-range transportation planning initiative. Another contract, worth $17,560, will be put toward the MPO's annual traffic count.

Council will vote on both resolutions at its Jan. 15 meeting.