Green River Star -

By David Martin
Editor 

City still working on depot

 


While the Green River City Council did vote to move money in the U.P. Depot renovation fund for use towards a shooting range at the Green River Police Department, the city is still committed to the project.

City Administrator Reed Clevenger said a survey of the building was completed two weeks ago and the city still intends to complete asbestos and hazardous materials abatement. However, the city now seeks to seal the building and protect it from further damage and decay.

Clevenger said the city’s goal it to use the building as an asset for grants and to attract business to the area. If a company is interested in the building, Clevenger said that group could use both the city and the Wyoming Business Council as a means to help. The city is moving forward with funding a hazardous materials cleanup inside the depot.

In September, the Council discussed options regarding the depot building during a workshop session, where some Council members voiced concerns the building faces additional problems the longer it is left alone. Another issue the city faces is the increasing costs associated with renovating the depot. The longer the city waits, the higher the final cost to renovate the depot become. The Council has voiced unofficial support for sealing the building and waiting for a better opportunity to start the project in the future. However, without outside funding, that day may be far in the future.

While the city’s most recent sales tax allocation from the state is higher than the initial forecast predicted, the city is still below projections for the fiscal year. Despite that, Clevenger said Green River isn’t facing the stiff shortfalls other mineral-rich communities face in the coming year. 

“We expect (funding) to be down, but the sky’s not falling,” Clevenger said. “We’re not getting hit as hard.”

Some counties and the state government are preparing for lean times as minerals throughout the state, with the exception of trona, lose value. While Sweetwater County is projected to lose roughly 4 percent of its valuation, the state is looking at a drop of nearly 18 percent. As a result, the state may cut back on funding to local communities, funding the city could use towards the depot. Other options do exist, such as a future sixth-penny tax ballot with the depot listed with other proposed projects.

For now, the city will have to wait for a better opportunity to renovate what could be a key building in Green River’s downtown area.

 

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