City Council approved grant application for extension of water/sewer lines to new 40-unit low income housing project

Gary Michaud used a map to explain how city services would be extended to south highway 287 to serve a proposed 40 unit affordable housing project.

The Lander City Council took care of business in short order on Valentines Day night, conducting two public hearings and cruising through it’s 18 item agenda in 20 minutes. Everything on the agenda was approved.

Two public hearings opened the meeting and no public comments were offered on the applications. The first was from El Sol De Mexico restaurant for a liquor, bar and grill license for its new dispensing area and the second was on an application for a Community Development Block Grant.

The block grant authorized submission of a request to the  Wyoming Business Council for improving the city’s water and sewer infrastructure adjacent to south Highway 287 to deliver city services to a 40-unit, $7 million low-income housing development and to provide for future development in the area. The development is planned for a parcel of land across the highway from the Lander Golf Course’s back nine. The application is seeking a grant of $465,000 to pay for the improvements. A private sector match of $55,000 provided by G.A. Haan Development, L.L.C. would be included in the final project cost. The firm is proposing to develop the housing project. Lander Mayor Mick Wolfe said the city would not have “nothing out of pocket” if the application is approved.

Also approved Tuesday night were:

— Ordinance 1169 on third reading, which allows minors accompanied by a parent or guardian into liquor dispensing areas before 10 p.m. where food is served.

— A catering permit for the Lander Ambassadors for their March 10th extravaganza at the Community Center.

— A catering permit for the Hitching Rack for a Mule Deer banquet at the Community Center on March 3rd.

— Core Lee Reynolds was appointed to the city’s Housing Authority Board.

— The resignation of Clint Hansen from the Lander Planning Commission was accepted, with regret. “We hate to lose him, but we understand why he resigned,” said Mayor Wolfe.

— Resolution #990 that changed job descriptions for police department positions. “Basically the police department is lowering the length of service required before officers may apply for promotions,” said City Clerk Robin Griffin. “This would allow more officers to apply for positions,” Councilor John Boulette said.

— Resolution #992 approving the Community Block Grant application described above.

— Resolution #993 approving application for a State Loan and Investment Board grant of $447,500 with an equal amount to be matched by the city to replace the Lander Volunteer Fire Department’s aging and out of code ladder truck. Fire Department Administrator Nick Hudson said the truck is plagued with rust in its air brake system which has resulted in the brakes locking up on two separate calls, plus the vehicle has an open cab which only seats two firefighters, among a number of other mechanical and design problems.”The ladder truck is unsafe and does not meet current standards,” he said. The application is the fifth in the last five years the city has sought to replace the ladder truck, including a second application to the SLIB board. “We have many multi-story buildings in town and it’s critical that we have a ladder truck we can depend on,” Hudson said.

— Resolution #994 approving a grant application to the Our Town program of the National Endowment of the Arts for a $50,000 matching planning and design grant for a proposed  Community Center for the Arts. Community Development Director Gary Michaud said the grant “is a great opportunity for the city.” A number of local non-profit arts organizations banded together to promote the concept of such a collaborative center. Councilor Boulette said the application represents many facets of the community which he said recognized the community support for the project. Lander PALS Director Amy Russian said Lander “was a great fit for this program,” but she also said last year only 10 percent of the applications were funded, 45 out of 450.

— A pay request from Shepard Construction Company of $84,132 on the Child Development Services building remodeling project, and

— Approval of bylaws for Hunt Field, the city’s general aviation airport on Capitol Hill.