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Mayor Ron Warpness

Mayor vetoes council vote awarding bid on DCI site

May 20, 2012 - Staff

Riverton Mayor Ron Warpness has vetoed a city council decision from May 15 that awarded a construction bid for the new Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation building in Riverton.

Council members had voted to move ahead with the DCI project by awarding a bid to Sehnert Systems in the amount of $360,371 for the new building to be constructed on land the city obtained at the Riverton Regional Airport business park.

DCI leases an office at City Hall currently, but the agency desires more space. The proposed building would provide it.

At Tuesday's meeting, public services director Bill Urbigkit said city staff needed direction from the council on how to proceed with the project.

Councilman Richard Gard was not present at Tuesday's meeting, and Councilman Eric Heiser was participating via telephone.

City administrator Steven Weaver said he felt the city was sticking its neck out for quite a bit of risk for the benefit of another state agency that was not putting any money toward the project.

"I think DCI needs to (assist)," Weaver said. "They are a state agency, and the city is doing all the risks when, in the end, we are hoping we might get something out of it."

Weaver said the advantage of the project was that the city would own a building as a long-term asset, would have revenue from the lease, and could use the project to encourage industrial growth near the airport.

The council then voted to award the bid.

But in a telephone interview Saturday, Mayor Warpness said he had decided to use his veto power to require the council to reconsider the proposal at its June 5 meeting.

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