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West Beltloop Litigation Inches Forward

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Eminent domain litigation over  the proposed transportation belt-loop west of Casper is in the final stages. Two separate lawsuits challenged the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s plans.

One lawsuit, heard last Fall between Wydot and the limited companies owned by Robert and Cynthia Schlidt was reviewed today by Judge Scott Skavdahl.

“You can do that under the rules. You can go back and ask the Judge to go back and reconsider his original opinion. Seldom does a Judge ever change.”

Dave Ditto, Assistant Outside Counsel for the Wyoming Department of Transportation says, in that case, Judge Scott Skavdahl ruled in favor of Wydot, but granted  a restriction of 300 feet to the easement width. After Thursday’s review Ditto expects a date for a compensation hearing to soon follow.

“That’s not set yet, it hasn’t been set. I’m expecting that it will be set in the next two to three weeks.”

A second lawsuit involving  Robert Bradshaw and his wife ended in a negotiated settlement.

In the Bradshaw agreement, Wydot retained its desired 500 foot easement and came to an undisclosed financial settlement.

Ditto points out that Thursday’s court action by Judge Skavdahl happens just days before he leaves the bench for Cheyenne to begin as a Federal Magistrate Judge.   Ditto suspects a new Judge stepping in may slow down these last legal steps.  A financial settlement once reached should allow construction of the Belt Way to begin.

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