Hikers rejoice.

The City of Casper and a Casper Mountain landowner have proposed a property exchange that will connect most if not all portions the Bridle Trail just south of Rotary Park.

City Council will set its Jan. 5 meeting for the first public hearing about the exchange at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to the council's agenda.

Mayor Charlie Powell announced the proposed exchange last week

“Recreation is one of Council’s three strategic goals," Powell said in a prepared statement.

"The proposed land trade allows the City to oversee the trail connection between Rotary Park and the Bridle Trail," he said. "It also ensures that a substantial portion of the Bridle Trail will be in public hands into perpetuity."

Mountain property landowner Michael C. Reed approached the city earlier this year about a potential swap, according to the news release.

If council approves the exchange, it would rezone the parcel on the mountain as Park Historic.

Besides the land swap, council will set the first public hearing on Dec. 15 about submitting an application to the Wyoming Business Council's Community Enhancement Grant Program for $500,000 to pay for reconstruction projects on the North Platte River. The grant would require a 50 percent match from the city.

And it will set Feb. 16 for the first public hearing for the annual renewal of liquor licenses in the city for the following year.

Council also will have a public hearing about the proposed annexation by the city of 5.5 acres -- known as the Betty Luker Parkway Campus No. 3 -- immediately east of the Highland Park Community Church of God on East Second Street.

Council also will vote on a $275,300 contract with Forte Events of Colorado Springs, Colo., to plan and conduct the the four-day Eclipse Fest 2017 between Aug. 17 and 21. The total eclipse will occur in Casper at 11:42 a.m., Aug. 21.

The city itself will contribute up to $157,300. Other contributors are the Downtown Development Authority -- $7,000; The Casper Area Economic Development Alliance -- $15,000; the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau -- $50,000.

The Natrona County Commission will discuss what, if any, support it will offer during its work session at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Casper Area Chamber of Commerce will contribute office space, access to clerical staff and meeting rooms, which may affect the total cost.

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