RANCHESTER — Ranchester Town Council voted 3-0 Tuesday to annex the right of way on a portion of U.W. Highway 14 west of town in order to have more control over the speed limits on the highway that runs in front of the proposed site for a new elementary school. Councilman Dennis Dunn was not present at the meeting.
“(Sheridan County School District 1) asked if the highway could be annexed so the town could have more say in what happens to the highway,” Town Engineer Chris Johnson said. “State statutes allow the town to have more say in speed limits if a highway is in town limits.”
The highway is currently owned by the Wyoming Department of Transportation, which, Johnson said, agreed that annexing the highway was the best way to control speed on the road.
The portion that will be annexed is between Big Horn Drive to the end of Lot 2 of the recently annexed Spirit Ridge Subdivision.
Since Ranchester annexed the land to the north of the highway, the annexation is considered contiguous.
In other business
• Issue: Annexation of two separate properties that contain the town’s water tank and sewer lagoon.
• Discussion: This was the third and final reading of the annexation ordinance and there was no discussion. The properties are owned by Ranchester but are noncontiguous to town limits. However, state statutes do allow noncontiguous property owned by a town to be annexed.
• Action: The council voted 3-0 to annex the properties.
• Issue: A resolution to adopt the Sheridan County Emergency Management Plan.
• Discussion: Sheridan County is required to update its emergency management plan, which outlines how a host of different emergencies will be handled by government staff and officials, on a regular basis in order to receive state and federal grants and assistance during declared disasters. The county and each of its municipalities must officially adopt the plan in order for it to be effective.
• The council voted 3-0 to approve the plan.
• Issue: Johnson asked council members for permission to invite architects who are interested in working with the town on its Main Street Mercantile project to an architectural screening.
• Discussion: Johnson said he wants to interview interested architects and review price proposals before the council votes on which architect to hire. The Main Street Mercantile will be located across from the Ranchester Information Center and is proposed to include three retail spaces, a covered, outdoor space for events like farmers markets and a parking lot with approximately 30 spaces.
• Action: Council members voted 3-0 to give Johnson permission to hold an architectural screening at 5:30 p.m. April 14 at Ranchester Town Hall. The council will decide on an architect for the project at its meeting April 15.