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Dayton purchases land to improve park parking

DAYTON — Members of Dayton Town Council voted Monday to purchase two lots near the entrance of Scott Bicentennial Park in order to provide additional parking for the park. The vote came after the council reconvened following a closed session to discuss the real estate purchase.

Mayor Bob Wood said town officials have been working to obtain space for extra parking since the current available space cannot accommodate big events like Dayton Days.

The two lots contain two houses that are uninhabitable, Wood said. The owners were trying to rent the lots when the town made an offer to purchase them. Wood said it took a while for the owners, who live in Washington, to accept the offer. The lots appraised for $37,500 each, and the town offered to buy both for a total price of $75,000.

At this point, the structures on the lots need to be torn down before the space can be used. Wood said the lots will likely be rotomilled next spring, and maybe eventually paved.

The funds to purchase the lots were put into this year’s budget out of Optional One-Cent Sales Tax funds used for town beautification.

Also at the meeting, council members voted 3-1 to approve a revised contract with Verizon for use of town property to install a Verizon cellphone tower. The approval of the contract is contingent on whether or not Verizon accepts the revised contract, Wood said.

The land to be used is located behind the town shop near the Tongue River Valley Community Center. The changes to the contract proposed by the town’s attorney increased the price for Verizon to lease the land from $800 to $1,000 per month, which is the same price charged by the Sheridan County Fairgrounds for tower space.

The tower will be a single pole like a light pole. It will be visible from the community center but not too visible to surrounding neighbors, Wood said. It is expected to improve cellphone reception in Dayton and surrounding areas.

If Verizon accepts the revised contract, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a public hearing about the tower. The contract is a 25-year term to be implemented in five-year increments, which means either party can cancel the contract after five years.

In other business, the council:

• approved purchasing a small dog kennel for $270 to be kept at the town shop in order to house dogs found at-large while trying to locate their owner. The kennel can also be used to transport dogs to the Dog and Cat Shelter if their owner cannot be located.

• discussed the need to repair some cracks in the rotomill and overlay project on South Fork Avenue. This will involve cutting into the road, fixing the cracks and redoing the rotomill and overlay.

• awarded the Yard of the Month for July to Ron and Margo Iames, who live at the end of Second Avenue West and have a flower garden behind their house.

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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