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    Riverton’s future and identity discussed at Wednesday meeting

    Once a month the Riverton Economic and Community Development Association, along with Idea Inc. meets to discuss happenings and plans around the community.

    Wednesday morning a group of roughly two dozen community leaders, business owners, and citizens met at the Sundowner Station to discuss the City of Riverton’s master and strategic future plans.

    Riverton Community Development Director Eric Carr gave a presentation for roughly one hour, assisted by Riverton City Administrator Tony Tolstedt.

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    Carr described the beginning stages of the master plan began with a 4 1/2 hour meeting last Tuesday, in which City of Riverton members met with consultants from Cheyenne.

    The City of Riverton identified a handful of focal points that are being addressed in the next few weeks, that will impact roughly the next decade of Riverton’s future. Those included…

    • Land use
    • Economic development
    • Transportation needs
    • Parks and recreation needs
    • Community development and design
    • Tribal partnering opportunities

    Carr quizzed those in attendance to name the thing they liked most about Riverton, and disliked most about Riverton.

    The largest consensus answers for positive things about Riverton included; the people, community spirit, opportunities to recreate, community events, and the climate.

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    The most common negative answers included; substance abuse and alcohol-related issues, negativity, racism, lack of pride, vacant buildings, and lack of opportunities for youth.

    The group also discussed what they’d like to see Riverton’s identity become over the next few years. Members in attendance noted that communities in Wyoming like Laramie, Jackson, Sheridan, and Lander all have unique identities that are generally viewed as positive.

    Many in attendance expressed concern that Riverton did not have a real identity. “Riverton has a lot of great things, but they’re spread out between some not especially nice things,” said one man in the audience. Another called Riverton a “hodgepodge” of identity, noting that it’s known for the Wind River Indian Reservation, Central Wyoming College, and gambling opportunities.

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    Idea Inc. President Alan Moore described Riverton as, “it’s like a stew. We have all sorts of people and opportunities. It’s not one thing that we’re known for. A great Riverton asset is our social and economic diversity.”

    City Administrator Tony Tolstedt agreed, “the community is a lot of different things. Our diversity and our different mindsets tell our story very well.”

    Central Wyoming College President Dr. Brad Tyndall expressed his desire to help improve Riverton’s Main Street. He compared other communities around Wyoming with positive images as all having a “cool or unique downtown area.”

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    Carr said he hoped the City of Riverton will continue to work with the outlying areas beyond the community as well. He noted that the population of Riverton is roughly 11,000, but truly, the community serves between 22,000-23,000 people. He explained that roughly half of those people are residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation. He said he hopes the City of Riverton can continue to build on relationships with those that may not necessarily live in Riverton, but count on it for shopping, healthcare, air service, and other needs.

    The master plan and strategy will continue to be discussed over the next several weeks.

    For more details on the Riverton Economic and Community Development Association, click here. 

     

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