The Fremont County Commission and others study the Mortimore Lane design earlier this month. Joshua Scheer photo.

(Lander, Wyo.) – After hearing the engineers report of affected landowner preferences regarding the reconstruction of Mortimore Lane, the Fremont County Commission voted unanimously this morning to move forward with completing the design of the project to include a pathway.

Earlier this month, the commission discussed the three options regarding ditches along the road if they wanted to keep the project within the existing right of way. Those options are: require additional right of way to move the ditches, negotiate to move the ditches to private property, or pipe all of the irrigation. The commission sent Dowl HKM Engineer Diane Oress and Transportation Superintendent Dave Pendleton to meet with nine landowners along the road.

“We were very happy with the responses we got back from the property owners,” Oress said this morning.

She was able to successfully review the project with eight of the nine landowners; one reportedly never returned phone calls nor answered the door when she stopped by.

Oress said the majority of the landowners, none of whom were identified in the meeting, were favorable toward the project. Each reportedly had their requests/requirements, but most liked the idea of the ditches being relocated onto their own property.

Some discussion surrounded the land near the intersection with Sinks Canyon Road, where the county needs to acquire right of way to improve the intersection. That landowner reportedly wants more compensation than the county had been prepared to offer.

Overall, the results of the discussion, Oress said, made it more favorable to move forward with ditches being relocated onto private property.

The current construction estimate is around $1 million. With budgeted 1 percent sales tax funds and a $181,000 grant for the pathway, Oress said the project is currently budgeted about $31,000 short of the actual cost.