We’ve had a great response to Thursday’s story about the $540,965 the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board allocated to the Three Crowns golf course in the past fiscal year.

We want to keep the discussion going.

But keep these things in mind about this unusual public-private partnership that started in 1998 when Amoco – now BP – signed a 99-year lease agreement with the City of Casper and Natrona County to oversee the development of the property and replace the jobs lost when the refinery closed in 1991.

  • Neither the city nor the county  appropriate any tax money to the ARAJPB for its operations.
  • Neither government directly oversees the activities of the board. Instead, the board is composed of  one member designated by the Casper City Council, one member designated by the Natrona County Commission, and seven at-large members appointed by both governments.
  • BP still owns the approximately 340-acre former refinery site now known as the Platte River Commons.
  • In 2010, BP deeded the approximately 250-acre former tank farm – now known as the Salt Creek Heights Business Center -- north of the river to the ARAJPB, which has installed roads and other infrastructure.
  • BP allocated $28 million to the ARAJPB as part of the lease. The money was to be put to three uses: capital facilities such as Three Crowns; economic development such as the Casper Area Innovation Center; and operations and maintenance.
  • Three Crowns cost about $10 million to develop.
  • The $28 million is separate from BP’s ongoing remediation of the refinery property, which has three times the amount of petrochemicals underground as the Exxon Valdez, which spilled about 11 million gallons of oil in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989.
  • The money is supposed to last for the entire 99-year life of the lease.
  • To supplement the $28 million, the ARAJPB receives money by selling lots at the Salt Creek Heights Business Center, investment income, grants for projects such as the Innovation Center, and rental income from properties such as the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
  • The Platte River Commons is known as a “brownfields” site. The 2000 Wyoming brownfields law required companies to clean contaminated land to standards for industrial and commercial development, but not to the pristine conditions required for houses.

In other words, office buildings are okay. Golf courses are okay. Hotels are okay because people don’t live there.

According to the lease agreement, residential subdivisions are not okay, nor are dry cleaners and zoos.

Some of you have suggested a zoo, a race track, motocross track, a botanical garden, an arcade, an amusement park, a water park, and a traditional park.

On the other hand, Three Crowns has drained the ARAJPB's coffers by nearly $5 million since the golf course opened in 2004.

Some also have suggested lowering fees to golf. That, however, is up to the course’s manager OB Sports of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Keep in mind that whatever you suggest will cost money.

Regardless, go for it with the suggestions.