City buys land adjacent to work center

SHERIDAN — Following the first of two executive sessions at its meeting Tuesday, the Sheridan City Council reconvened and approved the purchase of property directly east of the city service center in the amount of $395,000.

The second executive session regarded collective bargaining for firefighter wages, which occurs annually. No action was taken following that session.

The purchased property belonged to the CNZ Corporation, which manufactured wood pellets. It is 4.16 acres and is located at 932 Kroe Lane.

The city allocated $245,000 from the water and sewer reserve fund and $150,000 from the solid waste reserve fund for the purchase. The property was appraised at a value of $424,000.

“If we have an opportunity like this where there’s 4.16 acres adjacent to our current service center that we’ve invested a lot of resources and capital improvements into, it just makes sense to make sure to take advantage of that opportunity so future generations of the government can benefit to be able to expand there and keep operations as efficient as they can be,” Public Works Director Nic Bateson said.

Bateson said the city has no immediate plans for the site but that it would cost approximately $100,000 to make it usable. The buildings currently on the site won’t likely be used by the city.

The current service center is congested with heavy equipment, material storage, fleet maintenance traffic, a hot mix plant and recycling traffic from city staff and members of the public, Bateson said. The city hopes the new property will help relieve some of the congestion by enabling certain areas of the center to be segregated from public access and allowing expansion of other areas such as recycling or storage.

 

“Our primary focus is segregating certain areas, and keeping the service center safe and the traffic flow efficient, and the operations efficient,” Bateson said.

The Public Works Department has $200,000 remaining in a state consensus grant that it will use for property clean up and landscaping along the service center corridor, Bateson said.

City staff talked with the owner of the property for three years before reaching the purchase agreement.

In other business:

• City Council approved on second reading by a vote of 6 to 1 the Wrench Ranch II annexation of approximately 264 acres into city limits. Councilor Levi Dominguez voted against the annexation, as he did on first reading, due to concerns about city staff being able to adequately service that much land on the northern edge of town.

The annexed land would be zoned gateway, higher education and R-3 residential to allow for the proposed Sheridan College Large Animal Science Facility and the proposed headquarters of the First People’s Center for Education.

The annexation will likely be smaller on third reading following negotiations with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which holds a grazing restriction on a portion of the proposed annexation and has requested that land not be included in the annexation.

Bateson said infrastructure such as the northwest water loop will not be affected by the smaller annexation as it will be placed in a public right of way already dedicated to the city of Sheridan.

• Councilors approved four cooperative agreements between the city and the Wyoming Department of Transportation outlining who will pay for amenities, enhancements, water, sewer and storm systems and continued maintenance on the North Main interchange project.

Bateson said the project is continuing in its projected timeline and that more agreements will be finalized at a later date.

• A bid was awarded to High Land, Inc., in the amount of $54,640 for the 2013 High Tech Business Park landscaping project. The project will be funded entirely with a Wyoming Business Council grant.

• The Cloud Peak Ranch 16 rezone of property at the intersection of Mydland Road and Dome Drive was removed from consideration by developer Don Roberts. Mayor Dave Kinskey said he believes Roberts is working with nearby residents in the Traditions neighborhood on a compromise and will likely refile at a later date.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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