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RANCHESTER — Ranchester Town Council passed on third and final reading an ordinance to annex 37.5 acres owned by Stonemill Construction into town limits at its meeting Tuesday. The land is adjacent to Tongue River Middle School in Ranchester.
The annexation is comprised of Lot 2 of the Spirit Ridge subdivision, which developer Drew Redinger has proposed for single and multi-family units, such as duplexes. The development could include more than 100 lots.
Lot 1 of Spirit Ridge, which is intended to be used for a new elementary school, was purchased by Sheridan County School District 1 and annexed in 2010.
In preceeding weeks, the council discussed at length how the land should be zoned upon annexation. Councilman Dennis Dunn wanted to zone a 300-foot-deep section of the land that runs alongside U.S. Highway 14 as B-1 Business to promote economic development and growth, while the developer wished to see what consumers wanted as far as housing before locking the land into split zoning.
On Tuesday, the ordinance that was passed zoned Lot 2 of Spirit Ridge as B-1 Business along its border with Highway 14 to a depth of 300 feet. The remainder of the lot was zoned R-2 Residential.
Councilors assured Redinger that he could ask for the zoning to be changed as development progressed if it was found to be problematic, Town Clerk Teri Laya said.
The ordinance also noted that prior to any subdivision of the annexed parcel a water rights distribution plan must be approved by Ranchester Town Council and the State of Wyoming Board of Control.
In other business, the council held a workshop to discuss revisions to the Town of Ranchester Employee Handbook but made no action on the handbook during the meeting, Laya said. The handbook will be addressed in future council meetings.
The council also discussed what to do for law enforcement now that Ranchester’s police officer has resigned.
It was decided that Mayor Allan Moore will meet with Sheriff Dave Hofmeier to discuss contracting for law enforcement services with the sheriff’s department, which is what the town of Dayton does, Laya said. Ranchester has had its own police officer for approximately 10 years but used to contract with the Sheriff’s department prior to that, Laya said.
The council will make a final decision on law enforcement services at a later date.
Town councilors approved bills in the amount of $43,933.55.