SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s city council considered a resolution that would authorize the Sheridan Community Land Trust to build, operate and maintain trail systems on sections of city property.
If passed, the resolution will grant the SCLT a license agreement, allowing the group to move forward with a plan to extend the Soldier Ridge Trail System.
Segments of the SCLT’s proposed extension would need to be built across city property at the Sheridan Water Treatment Plant and the Kendrick Municipal Golf Course.
Phase one of the two-phase project would extend a trail from the Hidden Bridge Golf Club to the Kendrick Municipal Golf Course that would connect to the Soldier Ridge Trail System, passing through the southern edge of the city’s water treatment plant property. Phase two would cross the Kendrick Municipal Golf Course and move southwest to connect to the existing trail system.
SCLT Executive Director Brad Bauer said his organization would aim to begin construction on phase one of the trail extension this summer if council approves the license agreement.
That portion of the project — which would add approximately three miles to the Soldier Ridge Trail System— could be finished by the end of the summer, Bauer said; the SCLT anticipates phase two of the project would conclude in the summer of 2020.
SCLT would pay for the construction of the extended trails, if the license agreement is approved, and the agreement would also obligate the organization to pay the costs associated with maintaining to trails.
Utilities Director Dan Roberts said city staff plans to present the resolution to council at its regular meeting next week.
Public Works Director Lane Thompson briefed council on a proposed memorandum of understanding between the city of Sheridan and Sheridan County School District 2, which would describe each entity’s financial responsibility in their partnership on a hill slide stabilization project.
In 2017, a hillside near the Sheridan Junior High School failed, damaging both city and SCSD2 properties. The two bodies contracted Hayward Baker, Inc. to study the hill slide and design a solution to prevent it from reoccurring. Hayward estimated stabilizing the hill would cost $7,018,000.
The proposed MOU would make SCSD2 responsible for roughly 23 percent of that cost — $1,584,664.40 — and obligate the city of Sheridan to pay the remaining balance, about 77 percent of the projects total cost, of $5,433,335.60.
Thompson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the city a $3.75 million grant, which will require a $1.25 million local match, and the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments awarded the city a $350,000 mineral royalties grant, which the city will use towards the project; the remaining $1.63 million the city would have to pay would come from a $1.63 million loan from the State Revolving Fund. City Administrator Mark Collins said city staff members will attend a School Facilities Commission meeting later this month to support SCSD2’s request that the School Facilities Commission provide funding for the project through its emergency reserve.
If that request is denied or only partially granted, however, Collins said SCSD2 is prepare to draw on its major maintenance budget to fund the stabilization project, which could begin this summer.