CASPER, Wyo. — Casper City Hall was more full than usual on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Most in the crowd appear to have come out to encourage the city council to authorize the sale of the former Plains Furniture Building and adjacent properties to FLAG Development.
Urban Bottle owner John Griffith asked those in attendance to stand if they were in support of the sale. The majority of citizens present stood up.
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The council will re-vote on the authorization of the sale later on Tuesday. The sale failed to move forward on a 4-4 vote in October.
Former Wyoming Business Alliance President Bill Shilling told the council that he had been heavily involved in efforts to revitalize downtowns across Wyoming.
“There’s one common denominator on all those projects,” Shilling said. “It is called momentum.”
Shilling said he was surprised when the vote failed in October since he “thought [it] had been set in stone.”
The council entered an agreement with FLAG in the spring to sell the properties.
While most were in favor of council approving the sale, some came to re-iterate opposition previously voiced to the council that the $500,000 sales price would be too low.
Others in opposition of the re-sale took issue with council’s decision to reconsider the sale.
“I expected to come here and hear discussion on a new RFP (Request for Proposals),” Dennis Steensland said.
He said that while reconsidering the sale was legal, he thought it was unethical.
Councilman Ray Pacheco asked why Steensland thought it was unethical.
Steensland said he thought more public input should have been incorporated prior to bringing the vote back up.
Supporters said the proposed redevelopment would be good for Casper.
“I think it is a great idea,” Downtown Development Authority Chairman Tim Schenk said. “I’m all in favor of strengthening our downtown. One of the ways to do that is to develop it.”
Advance Casper (Formerly CAEDA) CEO Justin Farley said his Board of Directors is in favor of the sale.
The council will vote later in the meeting on whether to approve the sale.
If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:
Mayor Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 577-6042
Vice Mayor Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 337-5057
- (307) 277-7377
Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 473-1247
Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 262-8237
Councilman Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 259-1276
Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 472-1837
Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):
- (307) 266-4188
Councilwoman Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 359-3673
Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):
- (307) 258-1226
Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601
If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.