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County Commissioners Approve Land Purchase Agreement

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Tracie Perkins. Townsquare Media

The Albany County Commissioners passed a motion to agree to the purchase and sale agreement of the Pilot Hill Property east of Laramie and to begin raising the $14 million to purchase the land in one year.

The commissioners accepted the agreement during their meeting today, after reviewing changes that had been made to it following public comment.

Phil Nicholas, attorney for the Samuelson family who is offering the land to the county, went over the changes with the commissioners and said the agreement was largely the same. He said clarifications had been made to address concerns about the conditions being placed on the land, for example the use of motorized vehicles. Nicholas said the agreement was clarified to show that while no recreational motorized vehicles, such as motorcycles and ATV’s, vehicles will be allowed on the land for the construction of an access road for law enforcement and maintenance officials.

The agreement includes a number of conditions that would apply to the land should the county buy it, including well rights for the University of Wyoming to pump and move water from the area, primarily for use for irrigation. The agreement also ensures UW access to public radio towers on Pilot Hill.

In addition to accepting the sale and purchase agreement, the commissioners also passed a resolution creating a funding oversight committee to assist the county in finding the funds to purchase the Pilot Peak Property.

County and Prosecuting Attorney Peggy Trent said the committee would be comprised of seven people – one UW Board of Trustees member, one Laramie City Council member, one Albany County Commissioner, one representative from the Albany County House and one from the Senate, one representative of the Laramie River Conservation District and one community member. The committee, Trent said, would do research on possible grants, gifts, appropriations and conservations easements that could help fund the purchase.  Trent said this committee would report to the county commissioners at least once a month.

Three subcommittees of the funding oversight committee would also be formed. Trent said they would be comprised of an economic development committee, a recreation activities subcommittee and a wildlife and aquifer protection and public access committee. Trent said these subcommittees would be providing information the oversight committee will need to move forward with obtaining grants to fund the purchase of the property. The members of the subcommittees would be appointed by the funding oversight committee.

The county commissioners passed both resolutions unanimously. The commissioners now have 360 days from when the agreement is signed to complete the purchase.

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