The Rotary Club of Casper announced in a Wednesday press release that plans to construct a parking lot at Rotary Park have been discontinued.

In the release, Rotary President Dick Jay cited public concerns.

"Given the concerns expressed by area residents over the past year, any further improvements scheduled for the park by (Rotary Club of Casper), including parking expansion, will be discontinued," Jay said in the release. "Because Rotary Park is a service project for the community owned and managed by the county, any concerns or future changes regarding parking safety and landscaping for the park must be requested by the county."

Last month, Rotary representatives approached the Natrona County Board of Commissioners with a recommendation roughly 40 to 70 spots be added to the park in a meadow. The proposal was met with backlash by several citizens who live in the area.

Concerned citizens who live near the park packed an April 2 county commission meeting to express their concerns over the proposed parking lot. Those included the parking lot being in a place that is used by a multitude of different animals and adverse erosion due to runoff. Many questioned if the parking lot was actually needed.

Doug Irvine, who lives near the park, said he was disappointed in the lack of communication between Rotary, the county and the public.

"This particular project seems to be outside their normal outstanding activities," Irvine said. "We all know that the Rotary Club has done many good things in our community. We were disappointed from the beginning that the committee didn't reach out to the neighbors and users to get their input and see what the community thought would be a good investment and improvement in the park."

Jay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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