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Food bank seeks building donor

Apr 24, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The Riverton Community Food Bank is looking to raise money to buy a building in Riverton for food storage. Lloyd Eckstein, CEO of the food bank, approached the Riverton City Council on April to share his plans for what he hopes to accomplish.

"We are looking for anyone willing to build a building," Eckstein said. "We already have the property, but right now we need space because we are running out of room to store the food."

The money collected will go toward food, rent, supplies, maintenance, utilities, refrigeration equipment, fuel for collecting food supplies from local distributors and possibly storage in another location.

Wyoming Rocky Mountain Food Bank would be one of the primary suppliers, along with other community stores and private donations.

Currently, the food bank is located at Eckstein's house, and freezer space is limited.

"We have people calling us and wanting to donate food, but we are running out of space," Eckstein said. "In order for us to keep the food in Wyoming, we need to be able to expand."

Agenda items

Other business included day care licensing, voting on a farmer's market, allowance of temporary signs, and selling of city property.

The council approved 10-day care license renewals after receiving applications to renew.

All applications filed paid the $65 renewal fee, which included inspection fees and certification with the State of Wyoming.

Farmers market

Council members voted to allow a downtown farmers market from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays. On April 3, Sherry Shelly and Downtown Association member Jerry Kintzler approached the council and requested to use the city's downtown parking lot. City administrator Steven Weaver said city staff had reviewed the request and felt the downtown parking lot posed problems because of it being a public parking lot.

"We think it might be challenging to ask people to not park in a section specifically designed for parking each week, because a lot of people use that lot," Weaver said.

However, locations under consideration include 422 E. Main St. (after the building is removed), closing off a section of street off Main Street, which would allow for continued growth of the event, Third Street (on either side of Main Street), Fifth Street on the north side of Sixth Street (on either side of Main Street), or North Broadway Avenue.

Mayor Ron Warpness said he feels the event will be a positive one for the city but hopes the people participating in the market will be responsible for cleanup each week after the event.

"I don't think cleanup would be a problem, but I certainly hope that there wouldn't be any trash left over each week," Warpness said.

Temporary signs

A proposed ordinance No. 12-007 was passed on first reading. The ordinance allows political and real estate signs to be placed in the right-of-way sections of yard in front of a person's home. This is typically the section between the sidewalk and curb.

Warpness addressed the issue at the work session April 10 and said he felt it was important for residents to be allowed to place signs on this piece of property that is owned by the city.

Councilwoman Mary Ellen Christensen expressed concern and said that the signs might distract motorists, especially if there is a large number of them in one area.

"Are we limiting the amount of signs someone can have in their yard or on a street corner?" Christensen asked. "I feel like it might cause a distraction to motorists if there are a lot of them and cause a visual blight."

Warpness said the signs would be temporary, and they would not be allowed in areas where it would cause an obstruction of view.

Signs placed where views are obstructed at street intersections will be prohibited.

Councilwoman Diana Mahoney said she is not concerned and suggested if the signs get out of hand, the issue will be addressed at that time.

"I personally enjoy seeing the signs and don't see where it will be a major problem," Mahoney said.

Council voted to sell a piece of property to R.J. Mowrey, who will build a metal building to house his office equipment for seismic testing in the oil fields. The property is Lot 2 of the Wind River Industrial Park adjacent to Riverton Regional Airport.

Weaver said city staff had hoped the property would have been a lease agreement to gain some revenue for the airport, however, the market is showing that people are not interested in leasing because property values are reasonable.

It is hoped that the constructed building will facilitate development near the airport.

Councilman Todd Smith asked if the funds from the sale would go directly to the funding of the airport. Weaver said the money will go into general funds.