City hires new public defender, considers water request and dementia facility proposal

Dec 10, 2013 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The City of Riverton has entered into several new agreements in action taken this month.

The council first voted to approve a contract with the Lori Gorseth Law Office for legal services and to act as the public defender for the city. The city had been without a public defender since Oct. 1. Three applications were received after a legal advertisement, and the applicants were interviewed by a panel of city staff.

The contract was effective Dec. 1 and can be terminated by either the city or the law office. The public defender agreed to attend all arraignment sessions scheduled in the Riverton Municipal Court, attend hearings and trials, and represent defendants charged with offenses in the municipal court. The city agreed to pay Gorseth $2,000 per month. She will remain an independent contractor.

Emergency water

The city also OK'd an agreement with the Mountain View Water District and the Mountain View Acres subdivision to provide emergency water. The agreement would be effective once a water line is built, which could take years, said city staff.

The water district made the request, however, so it could verify the city's support in a funding assistance application to the Wyoming Water Development Commission. The district wants the city water guarantee but the subdivision residents do not want to be annexed by the city. City administrator Steven Weaver told the council the city did not want to force annexation unless a majority of the district's resident agreed to be annexed.

The likely delay in building the water line comes from the

easements in the area that have to be granted from the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.

"Right now we're in the process of trying to get with the tribes to actually get an easement across the property to get it down there," Weaver told the council.

A report from city staff to the council stated that the water supply to the Mountain View Acres subdivision would be "only for an emergency, short term, with all water being purchased at standard out-of-city rates from the city."

The contract showed the city would provide more than 250,000 gallons per day to the district, depending on availability. Water would be for domestic use only.

Facility study

The council also voted to award a bid submitted by Howard & Associates in the amount of $13,500 for a dementia and alzheimer's facility feasibility study for Community Entry Services. A resolution approved in January authorized the mayor to submit a Community Development Block Grant application on behalf of CES.

CES is a Riverton-based nonprofit corporation that provides services to people with developmental disabilities and brain injuries.

The study would look further into a level 1 and 2 dementia facility. CES would pay the matching funds for the study.

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