About $130K in additional funding needed for Casper Events Center metal detectors, lighting - Casper, WY Oil City News
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About $130K in additional funding needed for Casper Events Center metal detectors, lighting

Programs are examined by smartphone light in the darkened arena during opening ceremonies at the College National Finals Rodeo on Thursday, June 14, at the Casper Events Center. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Events Center may add metal detectors along with a new LED lighting system.

The Events Center currently relies on metal detecting wands for security.

Parks and Recreation Director Tim Cortez mentions a 2018 shooting in Las Vegas which claimed the lives of 58 people as raising security concerns for venues like the Events Center.

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His memo adds that the city submitted a grant to the Department of Homeland Security to pay for six walk-through metal detectors. That request was partially granted to cover $12,409.52 of the cost.

The overall cost for the walk-through detectors would be about $23,000.

A request for bids for the LED lighting project opened on Nov. 19, according to Cortez. The lowest bid received by the city was for $142,000 but the cost of also adding wireless controls brings that total to $178,000.

He explained that the city initially relied on an estimate from Rocky Mountain Power for the cost of the project, but a later estimate from an electrical engineer suggested that the additional funding would be necessary.

Cortez explained during the council’s Tuesday, Dec. 3 pre-meeting that the lighting project would improve efficiency and help save on energy costs. The Events Center’s current lighting bill amount to about $14,000 a month.

Councilman Steve Cathey pointed out that Spectra Venue Management, who operates the Events Center, stands to reap a portion of the benefit of those savings. He asked whether it would be appropriate for them to retain those savings if the city pays for the new lighting.

Cortez said that based on past projects, the savings from the project could cover the costs in a period of about ten years.

Casper Mayor Charlie Powell said the current lighting at the Events Center dates back to the 1980s. He asked in regard to both the lighting and metal detectors project whether Casper was “ahead or behind the game” compared with similar venues.

Cortez said the Events Center is likely behind similar venues in terms of improvements to both security and lighting.

Cortez says that $82,000 is currently budgeted for the lighting project, meaning the city needs to identify $96,000 in additional funding to allow the project to move forward.

City staff also recommends establishing an $18,000 contingency fund for the project.

Council indicated support for the proposal during the pre-meeting.

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):

Vice Mayor Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilwoman Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

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.