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Public quiet on proposals about development of Honor Farm land

Apr 19, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The Riverton City Council heard no public comment during a meeting April 1 about the development of the Honor Farm property between Honor Farm Road and Webbwood Drive.

IDEA Inc. had initiated a conceptual plan and requested support from the city council to pursue an agreement for the Business Ready Community Program from the Wyoming Business Council.

Economic development director Phil Christopherson said the group wants to promote business growth in Riverton and told the city council that the WBC had asked for public discussion.

The parcel is owned by the Wyoming Department of Corrections, but new state legislation allows the land to be sold to a developer so they can build the infrastructure and incorporate the master plan created by the community and adopted by the city.

"The master plan will help guide where that developer is going to go," Christopherson said. "The goal is to get this land in private hands."

He also said no developers have approached IDEA Inc. yet but the WBC did request possible layouts to be presented beforehand, both to it and the public. Ideas on zoning, major roads, utility easements and infrastructure were shown during the meeting.

"The possibilities are endless," he said.

To get an idea of what the land could hold, Christopherson took aerial views of Casper's business park and larger retailers and fit them onto a map of the Honor Farm property.

The parcel contains the Wyoming Modelers Park, which would be sold to a developer under the association's approval and with the agreement that the park would be rebuilt at a different location.

Christopherson said the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board will now review the application and property appraisal. SLIB staff will then hold another public hearing in Riverton and then accept sealed bids through a public auction.

"The lowest bid they will take is the appraised value of the land," he said, adding that the highest bid still will be chosen.

The Department of Corrections will be the ultimate recipient of the funds, Christopherson said.

The city council responded positively to the layouts and commended IDEA Inc. for its effort in developing the property and encouraging economic growth for the city.