City Council Regular Meeting Sept. 5: Prayer, Trafficking, Police Vehicles
City Council held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Here’s what happened at the meeting, and what’s going on in the Gem City.
Public Comment on Non-Agenda Items
The meeting opened with public comment on non-agenda items. Robert Mark Armstrong “Some people call me doctor, though I find that intimidating,” he opened.
Armstrong proposed that Council bring prayer back to the beginning of meetings, citing the Supreme Court’s overturning of 1971’s Lemon Test, after Kenedy v. Bremerton School Board (the praying coach case).
At the end of the meeting, Councilors Joe Shumway and Brandon Newman added they’d like to revisit the topic of prayer at city council meetings.
The second speaker for non-agenda items was Chris MacGlover, a member of the Laramie Airport Users Association, stating his concerns over recent FAA violations against the Laramie Regional Airport.
Proclamations & Presentations
A presentation was given by the Albany Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Presenters Justin Scott, Outreach Director for Emmaus Road Church in Laramie, and University of Wyoming elementary education student McKaylin Malles discussed the dangers and prevalence of trafficking, especially in domestic circumstances. Visit their website here.
Laramie Youth Councilmember Brendan Browne presented about the upcoming Youth Walk at Pilot Hill on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. to promote mental health and wellbeing.
Regular Agenda Items
- Ellen Hovhannisyan and Madison Newman were appointed to the Laramie Youth Council for the 2023-24 School Year.
- FAA Grant Agreement for the Laramie Regional Airport Reconstruct Runway Lighting and Install Runway End Identifier Lights (REILs) on Runways 12/30 and 3/21.
The LRA will remove existing runway lights and replace with LED’s. The total project is estimated at 1,668,421.05. The federally funded Airport Infrastructure grant will provide $1,585,000, the state contribution is $50,052.63 and the airport match is $33,368.42.
- Police Vehicle Replacement & Budget Amendment
Eight replacement vehicles and 10 additional vehicles totaling $600,000.Accounting Director for the City of Laramie Jennifer Wade presented the budgetary aspect, citing these are replacement vehicles, not a fleet expansion.
There are “significant deferred maintenance needs. The former chief did not recommend units for replacement for quite some time,” Wade said.
Last year Council approved eight hybrid Ford Explorers. Ford has yet to provide a build-out date for those vehicles.
Recommendations are for four fleet vehicles a year; since COVID, those have been delayed and now the fleet is behind those eight vehicles, so Chief Browne is requesting bids for 10 within the next 30-60 days, wherever the vehicles can be found.
To the amusement of Council, Chief Browne noted that the cost of these vehicles is “still significantly cheaper than a new fire engine.”
- Original Ordinance No. 2065, Amending Various Sections within Title 15.14.050.I of the Laramie Municipal Code regarding Off-Street Utility, Dumpster, Recycling, Trash Handling and Recycling Facilities.
Joseph Shahidi, Associate Planner for the city presented plans to change requirements for dumpster and recycling enclosures. One of the major trash contractors for the city has changed, resulting in increased fees for users; they are switching back to city services, yet their enclosures do not meet code requirements. It primarily concerns commercial customers.Councilmember Andi Summerville voted No.