Proposed County Land Purchase 

 

 

Proposed County Land Purchase Map

 

Purchase and Sale Agreement County

 

*******  NOTICE  *******

Please be advised that the land areas depicted on the above map are PRIVATE property.  Always respect private property.    

Please do not trespass on private lands.  Thank You.

Posted by IT Department Friday, July 21, 2017 10:44:00 AM
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Comments

Friday, July 21, 2017 5:27:37 PM

I stand in opposition to the $14 million dollar land sale. We cannot in good faith spend money we simply do not have. No matter how we may perceive the greater good in placing the county in a deficit; the future consequences matter. The County government should execute fiscal conservative restraint. How can we in good faith make such a deal when we have laid off employees and have a hiring freeze at the county?

Although as tempting as it may be to provide every county resident with such a gift. We must be mindful of our economic health as a state.  Not only has the economic downturn impacted county government, it has impacted our educators, and community with people leaving the state for employment. This deal could be a catastrophic mistake for our county government and ability to provide its state constitutional-mandated-services to our community.

 

James Madison stated in Federalist Papers #51, 

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

 

Please control yourselves from expanding county government's size, role, and spending; in fiscal conservative principles safeguarding our county government for future generations.

Saturday, July 22, 2017 12:41:25 PM
Peggy McCrackin
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Yes!

Yes!  Purchasing the land from Warren Livestock has HUGE implications for aquifer protection, recreation, and economic stimulation.  It is time to think big picture and long-term for the good of individuals and the community at large.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we should not pass up.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017 2:15:52 PM
Bern Hinckley
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There is no question that preservation of this land as publically-accessible open space would be a terrific asset to our community. It is the wide opportunity for unstructured outdoor recreation that makes Wyoming such a great place to live, work, and raise kids. We should enthusiastically assess whether this proposal to bridge the gaps between City, University, State, BLM, and Forest Service lands east of Laramie can be made to work.

The million dollar questions, are, of course, “How much money?” and “Where’s it going to come from?”. Given the lamentable state of county finances, it is obvious that the money will not, can not, come from current revenues. But these are largely separate issues. The day-to-day budget squeeze remains the same whether or not we seek special funding to pursue this special opportunity.

Saturday, July 22, 2017 2:53:22 PM
William Hansen
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Land Purchases

As a surrounding land owner, I am in favor of the county owning and controlling this land.  As a main recharge area for aquifer water supply, I think the city should have an interest in this also.  They certainly have been restrictive to any development along Grand Av.  On the south end, land is mostly limestone rock, with few building sites, and lots of noise from Interstate.  Biggest problem from my perspective is road access.  On the south end, we have one road, Berner Mill Rd, that is a private road, constructed and maintained by five land owners, and not built to carry much additional traffic. All other land is private and conforms to the 35 acre min. lot law, and can't be sold off.  

Sunday, July 23, 2017 12:54:50 PM
Martha Martinez del Rio
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Ms.

Purchasing this land would be a fantastic opportunity for this community as mentioned above.  Why not levy a county tax for this - 1 cent or 2 cent tax until the cost of the land can be made (on top of any available grants and donations).  The tax could be reduced to a portion of a penny after purchase costs are made to build a fund to provide maintenance costs for the land.

Monday, July 24, 2017 1:41:13 PM
Jeanette Lamb
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I am for this purchase 100%. People that are crying the blues about budget cuts and lay offs, I get it these are bleak times. Listen to reason and realize that these DO NOT come from the same pots of money at all. I do see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity that can be seized upon and if it protects the aquifer, so much the better. I hope it happens.

Monday, July 24, 2017 1:41:24 PM
In the name of Progress
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Land Purchase Funding

Yes, I am in favor of pursuing the purchase of this property and the City accepting the donation of the second parcel.

I think a funding source should be the Economic Development tax of 1% for the county to match other sources of funding to include foundation monies and public and private grant matches.

50% of the Economic Development tax goes toward payment or repayment of purchase price, 25% goes to the Airport for improvements and operations and 25% goes toward economic development projects and administration.

 

Monday, July 24, 2017 3:17:53 PM
Matthew Brammer
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Conditional Support

I wholeheartedly support pursuing the purchase of this land, provided that the intent for, administration of, and planning for it is completely transparent and is geared specifically towards resource protection and public access and recreation. I do NOT want to see the county begin purchasing large swaths of land with the intent to commercially develop, subdivide, sell off, etc. in the future. If the county genuinely has the public, resources, and environment at heart, and can continue being transparent about the funding sources for it, and can manage the purchase in a way that does not sacrifice the quality of the county's operations and obligations to its citizens, then I'm all in.
Monday, July 24, 2017 3:20:35 PM
William Escrance
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Wow

I'm all for the land buy if they can get the money.   What does make you wonder- you would think they would have fought this hard for the funding to try and prevent layoffs- but no political gains by keeping employees...   

Monday, July 24, 2017 4:37:50 PM
Diana Kocornik
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I am strongly in favor of this land purchase.  It will be appreciated by future residents forever, and I think we need to at least try to raise the purchase price.  We are not committed to the $14 million by saying yes at this point and there is no downside. And the upside to procuring this land is great - recreational opportunities, aquifer protection, no legal arguments over land use/aquifer protection, and the economic advantages of making our town more attractive to visitors and residents.

Monday, July 24, 2017 5:02:33 PM
John West
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The future > the present

This is a great opportunity for Laramie to continue to grow and move forward. Trails connecting the town to the National Forest, allowing for new recreation, better care of our water, and more potential for recreational events that bring in tourism to the city.

Monday, July 24, 2017 6:16:26 PM
Justin Elliott
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Rockne

I would be all for this if the price wasn't so over inflated. This is nothing more than complete and total greed coming from Warren Livestock. And complete stupidity coming from our county commissioners. This land is not worth anywhere near $2532.56 per acre. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:01:32 AM
fylgja
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Ms.

Yes, yes, yes, please purchase this land. Otherwise it will go to developers, and our aquifer would need special protections.

Yes, purchase this beautiful land. It will bring tourism which would pay for the purchase. It will make Laramie an even more special place to live/visit.

In a world where nature is being trashed, we need to protect and expand what we here in WY are blessed with. In a world where a ridiculous wall may go up, we need to keep our spaces open.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:25:35 AM
Amy Nagler
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Such a great opportunity for Albany County and the City of Laramie! It is a win-win for our water, recreation and tourism, wildlife, and keeping our beautiful views to the east. Saying yes will start the process of searching for state, county, city, university, private foundation, and non-profit funding sources. Access and land protection has broad community support and this land purchase will provide benefits for years to come.

 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 8:42:45 AM
Craig R. Johnson
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Pursue more info

It's pretty hard to set aside powerful emotions in troubled times but maybe we have a chance to do that with this opportunity. All questions and voices are legitimate in the discussion. Good decisions are usually the result of full and impartial consideration. We have a chance to be good stewards and citizens of Albany County by letting this process play out, without hostility, vitriol and recrimination. In principle, I'd like to see a "quality of life resource" preserved for public use by future generations because there are simply not that many chances to add such a resource to our community. I do like Heber Richardson's clarification that this would NOT involve general fund monies. That means we, the citizens of Albany County, can decide if we value this opportunity enough to seek to pay for it through alternative revenue streams (grants, donations, etc.) 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:11:09 AM
Melissa Murphy
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YES YES YES I was so excited when I saw this was a possibility. What an opportunity for the city, county, university, wildlife, and visitors. I would personally be willing to donate money,  fund raise, or do whatever to help make this a reality.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 11:50:39 AM
Dana Robertson
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Yes, purchase to protect our resources, wildlife, and open spaces.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:39:38 PM
Ben
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I am all for economic development, as I feel that the community could use an infusion of additional sales tax and property tax revenues.  However, that space is widely used as a recreation space.  One of the the hallmarks of Laramie's beauty is the proximity to space that provides for the outdoorsy quality of life.  Please preserve this space.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:21:20 PM
Dan McCoy
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I would like to lend my enthusiastic support for the purchase agreement. It is my understanding that Mr. Samuelson trusts the county, this is why he approached the county first. There are pots of money available from state sources (such as the State Lands and Investment Board, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission), and federal, private, and state grants for land acquisition just like this. In addition, I am aware that NGO groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have expressed interest in helping with this acquisition due to wildlife resources and access for hunters.

While I understand that this may give a strange appearance in the time of serious fiscal issues, I agree with the county commissioners that money for this will not come from the county general fund.

I am 99% certain we can come up with the money and a plan for land management. It will certainly add tremendous value to our community.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:26:50 AM
Jason
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I am in favor of the land acquisition. However, I think that the price should be negotiated as with any other real estate transaction. The county should have some leverage in determining the acquisition price as opposed to just being a price taker.  Having said that, I'm not sure how one puts a price on precious resource protection.   

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 12:05:24 PM
Reed Zars
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It would be terrific to have this land under public ownership. Is $14 million a fair price? Without an appraisal, the answer to that question is unknown. Does the County intend to perform an independent, professional appraisal of the value of this land? Regardless of whether the County intends to use public funds for this proposed purchase, before the County and members of the community seek funding from other sources it would seem essential to know that $14 million reflects fair market value.

Thursday, July 27, 2017 9:29:41 AM
Marius Favret
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YES, I strongly support the acquisition of the Warren Ranch area being proposed for purchase. This is a unique opportunity for all  County residents. It will keep this land as open space for generations to come and protect water resources. 

My only reservation concerns the acquisition of rights to 3 wells by UW for only $100. A price more in line relative to the purchase price would be reasonable.

 

Thursday, July 27, 2017 9:32:36 AM
John Nelson
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I recognize most of the County residents are in the City and this would be of great benefit to them.  The rest of us County residents would gain little benefit. 

I do not support using any County funds for this purchase.  If the City and private funding is provided I would support the County in facilitating the purchase.

Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:43:40 AM
Marius Favret
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Further to my previous comments, another point that needs to be raised is the proposed price per acre. The proposed price is significantly higher than the ongoing price for range land. This should be a point of negotiation.

Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:13:15 PM
Denise Elena Greller
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Land Aquisition

I heartily support the acquisition of the 5,000 acres that is being offered to the county for a number of reasons. First of all, it would keep land in the Casper Aqquiferr recharge area undeveloped. While this is only 12%of the total recharge area, it is a beginning to setting aside the recharge area land to prevent hi-density development. Secondly, it would provide easy access to some beautiful and interesting outdoor recreation on Laramie's doorstep. This would enhance quality of life for residents of the city and nearby county alike. The commissioners should take the option for $100 that would give the county 360 days to find funding for this plan. I feel confident that outside funding could be found through a number of channels.

As to the parcel that would be gifted to the city, I need to know more before being fully behind it. Having this land protects it from development and may have some recreational benefits. This is not really a gift, but a trade. The city would have to finish 45th street to Boulder Drive and create a parking area in order to meet the terms of the land transfer agreement. The city would have to figure out how much that would cost and how they could pay for it, possibly through some sort of improvement bonds. This agreement does not need to be accepted in order for the 5000 acre deal to go through, but the city agreement cannot happen unless the big deal takes place.

 

Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:56:33 PM
Dewey Gallegos
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I am in complete support of the purchase and look forward to the recreational transformation that will follow.  We will attract businesses that will care about the quality of life of their employees, and putting a lodging tax in place will benefit all of us, even those that don't prefer to use the land directly.  Please move forward with this and give our community the chance to flourish as a recreational destination. 

Friday, July 28, 2017 5:56:31 PM
Becca Watson
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Yes!!! I fully support the purchase of the land.  This will greatly benefit the community! 

Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:44:29 AM
Geoff Letchworth
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There appear to be a number of parallels between public purchase of the Warren Livestock property and the Alaska Purchase. For example, in 1867 the United States was financially strapped by the just-ended Civil War. Some thought the 2 cents per acre price for a "Polar bear garden" was too much. And some historians argue even now that Alaska has cost the Federal Government more than it has returned. But in 1867, widespread public support encouraged forward-thinking legislators complete the purchase. And now, any thought of giving Alaska back to Russia is ridiculous.

There are good arguments on both sides of the Warren Livestock land purchase. I think you will find your own answer by asking yourself what makes Albany County special to you. For me, publicly owned open spaces are critical. And far-sighted protection of our amazing water resource is priceless. So I congratulate Heber Richardson and Doug Samuelson for exploring this option and hope their negotiations will be successful.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:33:52 PM
Richard Anderson-Sprecher
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Opportunity Knocks

I do support the purchase.  The area in question would be a very welcome county resource, and I often wondered if the chance for the county to purchase in this area would arise.  

Monday, July 31, 2017 11:05:37 AM
Dick Flores
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Buy it!  But tie it up so that no developer, many of whom are already licking their chops, can gain possession of any part of it.  They will try.  

As for the price, it is reasonable.  Some folks seem to think it should be priced as rangeland.  That might be true if it were located far away from Laramie.  But look at the location.  One caveat -- the Agreement states that the transfer will include "any of the sellers interests" in the mineral rights, but it doesn't say whether they actually own the mineral rights.  If they don't own the mineral rights this land becomes less valuable in terms of both price and in terms of protecting the aquifer.  Do they own the mineral rights?  If not it casts doubt on the value of the entire agreement.  

I have praise for the County Commissioners presently in office.  They are exhibiting great vision.  This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create both a buffer zone and a limited recreational zone.  It will make Laramie and Albany County a more attractive place for both business and individual residents.  

 

 

Monday, July 31, 2017 11:53:14 AM
Jay Puckett
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Public lands and access thereon is so very important to Laramie and UW as a community.  The area has some the best mountain biking, running, and equestrian trails in the west.  Towns like Moab, Winter Park, etc. have ready access from town to public-land trails; this is a big selling point with visitors.

It would be very special to bike from Laramie to Vedawoo, or even Gowdy (with one more private partnership(s)). 

I know that for 32 years, Pole Mtn trails made a large difference in my life.  Trails, mountains, and life quality were always a large recruiting piece for attracting great faculty to UW.  jp

Monday, July 31, 2017 3:41:19 PM
Stephen Boss
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Land Aquisition

I am in favor of the land acquisition.  Protection of a significant portion of the recharge zone for the Casper Aquifer is critical for a current and future clean water supply.  Recreation opportunities will also benefit the residents of the city and county.

Having spent time working in water engineering, it costs far less to protect an aquifer than it costs to clean one up after it has been contaminated.   

Tuesday, August 01, 2017 10:55:05 PM
Shane Murphy
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Find a way to fund this

I strongly support pursuing the land acquisition. Having grown up in a city that pursued open space acquisition early on (Boulder, CO) and profited immensely from it, I cannot say enough how beneficial this would be to Laramie.

Sunday, August 06, 2017 3:54:12 AM
Mikell Platt
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Just Do It

Opportunities to do something like this which will provide untold benefits for generation after future generation do not come along every day. 

If there's anyway possible to get this done, then we should do it!  Many communities would kill for a similar opportunity, but will never have the chance to add a parcel of land like this one we have here.

Monday, August 07, 2017 11:42:37 AM
Meg Thompson
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Yes!

I am in favor of this land purchase.  Not only is it a big quality of life improvement but we will quickly see returns on this investment through increased tourism and student/employee/business recruitment.  To those concerned about how the county can afford this while in a financial crisis, keep in mind that the county is simply the holding entity for this deal and land, and the funds will not come out of the county budget.  The money will have to be raised through the combined effort of many groups, including UW, outdoor groups/agencies, and private citizens.  This is a great opportunity for the different communities of Laramie to work together.

Friday, August 11, 2017 7:01:30 AM
Bart Geerts
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If Laramie wants to be vibrant and the place to hang out and live, then this purchase is the right thing to do. Having Open Spaces with trailheads will make such a difference. The little canyons carved in limestone rock up there are hidden treasures for hikers and bikers.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 11:07:53 AM
Jack
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not so fast

The casper aquifer has bigger problems than this piece of land. The city landfill is piling garbage on top of the casper aquifer and it is not in a lined pit as required by the EPA. Plus I-80 runs right through the recharge zone. Its just a matter of when not if a truck will spill a load of hazardous chemicals in the recharge zone. Once this happens there will not be anyone living in Laramie to enjoy this over priced bike trail. Spend the money on protecting I-80 and relocating the city dump. 

Monday, August 14, 2017 11:16:26 AM
Michelle Bourassa Stahl
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I support the approval of the Albany County Commissioners to enter into a purchase agreement to purchase the proposed 5,582 acres for 14 million dollars. The leading cause of death in Americans is heart disease - a most often, preventable, chronic disease. Our sedentary lifestyle along with diet is to blame. Policy at the community level is one of the best ways to encourage more physical activity. Why? 1) they reach a large percentage of the population and 2) they remain sustainable over time (Institute of Medicine, 2015). While county land purchase is not policy, it is a government level intervention that will help citizens. Studies have shown that having easy access to recreation areas increases individual physical activity (Calise et al., 2013). I cannot think of a better way to encourage and allow for increased physical activity then to have a 5,582 acre playground at the edge of Laramie. 

Calise, T. V., Heeren, T., DeJong, W., Dumith, S. C., & Kohl, H. W. (2013). Do neighborhoods make people active, or do people
make active Neighborhoods? Evidence from a planned community in Austin, Texas. Preventing Chronic Disease, 10, E102. http://doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120119


Institute of Medicine. (2015). Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The
National Academies Press. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK333465/

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:18:04 AM
Jojo
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Jojo

This is poop deal.  Take the land through eminent domain for greater good period.   

 

County Poll

Are you For or Against Land Purchase?