Casper, Bar Nunn Set Growth Boundaries
Casper City Council swore in its newest member and approved a long-term growth agreement with the Town of Bar Nunn during its meeting Tuesday.
Wayne Heili was chosen two weeks ago among eight candidates who applied to fill the vacancy in Ward I after council member Robin Mundell resigned Jan. 5.
Heili was sworn in by Casper Municipal Judge Keith Nachbar, and took his place at the semicircular council desk.
"Thank you Mr. Mayor and thank you council members for your faith that you've placed in me in this appointment," he said. "I hope to live up to the expectations of the council in my actions and deeds."
The council then addressed the major work of the evening to approve an agreement defining the future growth boundaries of Casper and the Town of Bar Nunn.
City Manager V.H. McDonald outlined the need for agreement, which was discussed in a Jan. 13 memo in the council's agenda.
They never had a formal agreement, unlike those between Casper and the Town of Mills in December 2013, and the Town of Evansville in November 2006, McDonald said.
The town and city have been negotiating the boundaries for months, and generally agreed that Bar Nunn will stay on the west side of Interstate 25.
The major problem, however, concerned Bar Nunn's south boundary.
Casper's growth plan with Mills extends north of Mills and allows expansion west to the Casper-Natrona County International Airport, McDonald said. "It was important to keep that corridor open."
State law requires municipalities to annex properties that are already next to their existing boundaries. So Casper needed land that would not be impeded by a Bar Nunn boundary that was too far to the south.
The defined boundaries can be used in an update of the City of Casper's Comprehensive Land Use Plan and in updated transportation studies, McDonald said.
"This agreement should not be construed to be a desire to be annexation or expanding the City of Casper's corporate limits to this area," he said. "Rather, the future growth of the area may take decades to materialize, and any future annexation will be the subject of the review of many factors including 'is the growth logical?' and 'can the City of Casper extend services in the area?'"
During the public hearing, no one spoke for or against the resolution.
Council member Charlie Powell said Casper, towns and Natrona County have a good working relationship to promote a health metropolitan area. "Turf battles are absent.... This was the last box that needed to be checked."
In other business, council approved a contract with Treto Construction for $808,425 for miscellaneous waterline replacements; authorized a change order with Grizzly Excavating and Construction LLC for $107,755.70 and a 60-day extension for the Casper Family YMCA site improvements project (the land is owned by the city); and approved an application for the Supplemental Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund for $510,000 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Emergency Generator Project.