News Flash

City News Flash

Posted on: July 27, 2018

City Council Letter to Community

Council

150th


City of Laramie

P.O. Box C

Laramie, WY 82073


Dear Community Members,


Laramie has the option of renewing, or not, the 6th penny sales tax on Aug 21st. The process for this began in April 2018 when over several public meetings, the Laramie City Council along with the Albany County Commissioners and Rock River Town Council, put forth lists of projects and voted unanimously to put the 6th penny to the voters for renewal. The projects represent our best comprehensive effort at addressing some of the most critical infrastructure needs for this community over the next ten years. 


The ballot measure has proposed projects for parks, trails, Ice and Event Center & Recreation Center, all aimed at maintaining and improving Laramie’s quality of life for residents of all ages. Whether addressing the green belt near the Laramie River or replacing equipment in playgrounds or at the recreation center, all of the projects play a vital role in making Laramie a wonderful place to live in the coming years!


There are a few items on the ballot that aren’t getting a lot of attention but are just as important.  There is $3 million for a new fire training facility that will allow our firefighters to have better training, provide better service to our residents, and potentially bring a little money into the city should other towns send their fire personnel to train. There is $3 million for security and improvements in public buildings, $1 million for beautification (example: 3rd street gateway improvements) and, in a continuing commitment to maintaining a good, clean supply of water for Laramie, $250,000 for aquifer protection. 


Importantly, the largest category is approximately $22 million for street reconstruction and storm water improvements. This is the largest single investment into our street system recommended by Council in recent history. The previous 6th penny tax renewal in 2010 focused primarily on our underground infrastructure (water & sewer) and, with those systems in better shape, the next step is to address our street and drainage system. The $22 million on this tax renewal will not address all of our needs, but it will allow us to begin addressing the most distressed parts of our transportation and drainage network in all wards throughout the city and based on the pavement condition index. It will be critical to use these allocated dollars to match federal, state and private grants to not only address our street system comprehensively, but to stretch every dollar as far as possible. Laramie’s street condition is approaching critical and, if we do not invest in it now, it will cost us substantially more later. 


If the tax is renewed, all proposed projects, including all proposed street projects, will go through a professional staff review, with the most critical needs receiving priority recommendations to the sitting Council each year by professional staff. Before any project is initiated it is subject to public input and will be required to be approved by Council individually. It is important to emphasize that these projects will take approximately 10 years to build out and that this approval and vetting process will continue throughout the life of the tax collection. The underlying point is that this will allow our community to invest and improve our streets and storm water infrastructure!


It is hard to describe all the details of the projects in a letter, but we want to encourage discussion and questions!  Please review the information on the city website (www.cityoflaramie.org/penniesbuildcommunity) and, please reach out to us, or the City Manager, if you have questions!  But most importantly, please remember to vote on Aug 21st!


Sincerely,

Laramie City Council

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