Fundraisers, grants covered most of Lander’s Popo Agie River Park purchase; city spent $115,000

Lander will only end up paying about $115,000 for its purchase of the new Popo Agie River Park property north of Poor Farm Road, city staff reported this week.

“(That’s) really good news,” assistant mayor RaJean Strube Fossen told the Lander City Council during a regular meeting Tuesday. “The cost of that land was $530,000.”

Almost half of the money – $250,000 – ended up coming from a federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant, she said, but the city also utilized “other grants and fundraisers” to help cover the cost, including a $50,000 T-Mobile grant, a $10,000 Maverik community grant, and $24,270 in “miscellaneous donations” combined with last year’s Lander Community Foundation Challenge for Charities event.

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A Valentine’s Day challenge brought in $14,070, Strube Fossen continued, and the Lander District Recreation Board contributed $10,000, with another $56,560 coming from the “parks dedicated fund,” according to a report from the city.

The parks dedicated fund “has built up for years when a subdivider pays into the park fund in lieu of providing parks within their subdivision,” Strube Fossen explained; it also includes “individual donations that were dedicated to park uses prior to the purchase of this park.”

She added that the city had budgeted $255,000 for the park land purchase – $140,000 more than it ended up spending.

Planning time

The city’s report on the Popo Agie Park project lists several potential future uses for the 36-acre parcel, including:
-sports fields
-increased camping
-extension of trails
-new fisheries and boating access
-events stage

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Requests for proposals for planning for the park will be accepted beginning this month, according to the report, with the actual planning process starting in November.

Public input will be collected November through March, the report says, and plan adoption is scheduled for spring 2023.

For more information call the City of Lander at 332-2870.

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