The Albany County Commission on Tuesday approved a grant agreement with the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources that will help fund the first phase of work on new youth soccer facilities.

The project is part of the Albany County Community Youth Complex, a project designed to create additional recreational opportunities for youth in the community. An exploratory committee established in 2015 identified three potential sites for separate sports facilities; 18 acres near the Albany County Fairgrounds for a soccer facility, 2 acres of city of Laramie-owned land on the Turner Tract for a hockey facility and 53 acres of private land on North Ninth Street for basketball courts and baseball and softball fields.

The nearly $300,000 grant agreement between the state parks department’s Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails and the county would go toward the creation of a sod field, parking spaces, expansion of a bike path, entry into the area and the beginning of site work and irrigation, Albany County Grants Manager Tai Wright said. The remainder of the roughly $600,000 project will be funded by the Laramie Soccer Club.

“We will be moving forward with an environmental assessment — once that’s complete and approved, then we can move forward with construction,” Wright said.

Commission Chairman Tim Chesnut thanked Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent for the work she put into the project.

“Peggy Trent went above and beyond to get this thing from dream stage to not being just a dream, and I appreciate that,” he said.

Albany County Commissioner Heber Richardson said he anticipated the Laramie Soccer Club would start a capital fundraising campaign for the indoor facility portion of the project.

“It’s time for people who love soccer or want to beautify the entrance to Laramie, the south entrance, to look for ways to contribute to Laramie Soccer’s capital campaign, ’cause we’re going to make it really nice down there on the south entrance to Laramie,” he said. “That hasn’t looked so great over the years and it’s going to be really nice.”

In other action, the commissioners agreed to mandatory sexual harassment training for county employees.

Albany County Human Resources coordinator Christina Snowberger said she wanted to require employees to undergo training every two years, with credit given for employees who have already attended a training session.

“There has been a lot of cases, not just recently but historically, in regards to sexual harassment,” she said. “And so when I started with the county, we did one sexual harassment training and we had four attendees. The second time I did the sexual harassment training, we had a much larger turnout and all of my class but one or two was from the sheriff’s office.”

She said she was looking into offering the training online, but because it would require a fee, a speaker will come in to host the sessions.

“It serves us better to educate our employees about sexual harassment, what that means,” she said. “Sometimes people don’t understand that subtle comments over and over and over again can be construed as sexual harassment.”

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