The Albany County Commission is waiting for the contract for a proposed $14 million land purchase for more than 5,500 acres of land, connecting Laramie to Medicine Bow National Forest to be finalized. A decision on whether to accept it or not could happen as early as the Albany County Commission meeting 9:30 a.m. Tuesday — if the contract is finalized before then.
Members of the commission went through the contract with Warren Livestock, who is selling the land, and made a few changes to it. Once the contract and its changes are finalized, the commission will vote on whether to accept it, Albany County Commissioner Heber Richardson said.
“We will decide whether to proceed or not,” he said. “We’ve sort of gone back and forth with some of the verbiage and so on with Warren Livestock and as soon as they get us the final version of the contract, it’ll go on the agenda for a vote.”
Commission Chairman Tim Chesnut said at a public meeting Aug. 14 the contract was drafted to see what the county would want to change in it and give them a chance to negotiate parts of it. Aspects such as requiring the county to install and maintain 6 miles of fencing on the property and how long the county has to wait before the land could be developed were parts the commission wanted to change.
“I think there is quite a bit of flexibility according to what (Richardson) is telling me,” Chesnut said. “They purposefully set it that way as kind of a gauge of what public comments (of the land deal would be and) what our thoughts were on it.”
The commission originally planned to vote on it Aug. 15 — before it learned it was not finalized — to make sure the commission heard the public’s comments about the purchase and how it would affect the county. With this information and more research, each of the commissioners have decided how they will vote on the purchase when it is on the agenda but still needs to have an official vote to legally accept the offer, Richardson said.
“It could be on the next agenda, it very well could be,” he said. “Probably every single commissioner, we have all made up our minds but it is not official ‘til its official.”