The action authorized the same processes for a property acquisition in Cheyenne, state staffers said.
The vote was 3-2, with Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, State Auditor Kristi Racines, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megen Degenfelder voting “yes” and Secretary of State Chuck Gray and State Treasurer Curt Meier voting “no.”
‘A lot of proposals’
Much of the SBC’s discussion about the potential property acquisitions occurred in private, but the Commission did hear a public report on the work of the Riverton State Office Task Force before convening into executive session.
The report included information about the 10 facilities the state currently leases in Riverton, which cover about 25,000 square feet of space and cost Wyoming more than $300,000 per year to accommodate almost 50 full-time employees, according to budget and fiscal administrator Don Richards.
Not all of those leases would be vacated if a new state office building was located in Riverton, since some of the leases provide “fairly specialized space,” Richards noted.
After hearing Richards’ report, Gray asked for more information about the “equation” that was used to measure the cost savings that would result from locating a new state office building in Riverton.
“There are a lot of assumptions involved in this question, in terms of what the renovations would be (and) how much leased space there would be in the future,” Gray said, suggesting the state reach out to economists at the University of Wyoming for feedback.
He also pointed out that there are “a lot of discussions” taking place around the state about the potential purchase of buildings in multiple communities in Wyoming.
“We’re getting a lot of proposals now, so the stakes are just increasing,” Gray said. “It’s important for us to get this right.”
The Riverton State Office Task Force has no upcoming meetings scheduled.