Much of the meeting was spent in executive session, but first, co-chair Wyoming Rep. Ember Oakley, R-Riverton, offered an overview of the progress the task force working group has made since the committee’s last meeting.
“We made a working group (for) looking at sites and reviewing those so we could keep the ball moving forward here,” she explained. “We have done that. We coalesced and looked at various properties that may be, or are, available for purchase.”
The properties fall into two categories, Oakley said – lots with existing structures, and lots that would require “a complete new build.”
“(We’ll be) analyzing those for costs, suitability for our purpose, space … and of course continuing the discussions on agencies that would be appropriate for moving into a facility,” she said.
Wyoming Rep. Lloyd Larsen, R-Lander, made the motion to convene into a closed session to discuss “some specifics and some costs” associated with the identified properties, since those details “are not relevant for public consumption.”
After the closed session, Larsen said the committee evaluated the information presented by the State Construction Department and gave “further instruction to continue the due diligence process on all of the properties that have been looked at … as we prepare for our next meeting.”
The next task force meeting is scheduled to take place July 27 in Riverton.
Before that, the task force is slated to give a progress report during the executive session portion of a State Building Commission meeting Friday in Cheyenne.
“We’re moving down this road at a pretty fast clip,” Wyoming Rep. Bob Nicholas, R-Cheyenne, said.
‘A rapid pace’
Riverton city administrator Kyle Butterfield echoed Nicholas’ comment when he spoke about the task force meeting in front of the Riverton City Council this week.
“Things seem to be moving forward, not just at a rapid pace, but at a positive pace,” Butterfield said.
Riverton Mayor Tim Hancock agreed.
“The fact that they are looking at and thinking about sites, to me, sounds like they’re pretty serious,” Hancock said. “(It) was heartening to hear … that they’re taking it seriously and they are looking at it seriously and they are trying to come up with what they’re going to do quickly. I appreciate their hard work in that regard.”
He also thanked city employees for assisting state staffers as they surveyed the area for available properties.
Kevin Kershisnik with IDEA Inc. – Riverton’s economic development arm – has been involved in the process as well, Hancock noted, expressing appreciation for that work.
Kershisnik spoke during this week’s task force meeting, offering to support the group “in any way that we can.”
“We’re here to help you and to serve at your wish, so please let us know if there’s anything we can do to assist,” he said.