Dec 26, 2013 - Ron Warpness, Mayor, RivertonEditor:
The recent letter to the editor by Mr. Harvey Burke headlined "Is vacant lot in downtown Riverton going to be a junkyard?" Is prompting this response.
Personally, I hope that the resounding answer from the Riverton city Council and the citizens of Riverton is "no."
When this lot was purchased from the modelers club it was, always has been, and continues to be my intention to make it into a "green space" where we could have a small downtown park, perhaps with a gazebo for ice cream socials, public speakers, or evening jam sessions with local music. This green space also would have public restrooms that are handicapped-accessible and which are very much needed in our community.
The problem with this dream of mine is that this property is contaminated by chemicals that were used when it was a dry cleaner and service station. The city new that going in, and this is the reason that the land had sat idle and in disrepair for years and why we were able to buy it at a discount.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of trying to clean up the land so that it can be used in the future. Without the city's help, this cleanup probably would not have happened. Until this land gets a clean bill of health we are stuck and unable to do much with it, and so until that time we have been allowing its use as a parking lot.
I have not been happy with this us, as, in my opinion, this is a huge waste of a beautiful lot in our downtown area. I cannot disagree with Mr. Burke, as during this time the city has allowed the lot to be used in a shoddy manner.
I hope that after the DEQ gets its work done, the council will decide the highest and best use for this property.
I plan on doing all that I can to make it into the green space that I have described above. When that time comes I hope the citizens who feel the same way will step forward and make this dream a reality for the improvement of Riverton and the benefit of our citizens.
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