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Throwing money

Oct 31, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Sometimes it really can solve a problem

A popular cliché spouted off by certain political leaders goes something like "you can't solve a problem by throwing money at it."

Of course you can. Sometimes.

Take the case of the much-needed courthouse and law-enforcement facility in Riverton, dubbed the "justice center."

Everyone recognizes the need. But there's no easy way to build it, because there is no ready supply of money.

Come next spring, there might be. A draft bill to be considered by the Wyoming Legislature would provide up to $10 million for the Riverton Justice Center and similar facilities around the state if sufficient need can be demonstrated.

Riverton has long since managed that part of the deal. From the piecemeal, almost ramshackle quality of the metal building on South Federal Boulevard that houses our court facilities and sheriff's offices, to the bullet hole in the wall from when someone took a potshot at what passes for a courthouse in our county's largest city, the need has been clear for many years.

In case you are unfamiliar with the subject matter, this is the building in south Riverton with the huge, ugly cargo containers encircling it for purposes of security.

Now the county has a location for the new building, and soon it will have a design for it. There is public support, and our Fremont County Commission seems inclined to move ahead.

There is just one problem. There is no money to throw at the problem.

Diligent readers of the words in this space through the years (yes, there actually are a few) will recognize the following sentence: A good idea, with money behind it, is an unbeatable combination.

At last, both elements might be coming together regarding the Riverton Justice Center. A bit of patience through the winter should tell the tale.

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MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Wednesday's edition of The Ranger was delivered to the Riverton post office at 3:15 p.m., in time to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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