The Albany County Commission took a step closer Dec. 19 to securing funding for a major land purchase.
During the commission meeting, commissioners approved an agreement with the Wyoming Community Foundation for assistance, raising $14 million.
In September, the County Commission approved a $14 million land purchase for more than 5,500 acres of land stretching from east of Laramie to Medicine Bow National Forest, which could become public lands.
Albany County Commissioner Terri Jones said with the community foundation’s assistance, the County Commission would have a system in place where the foundation accepts and manages donations the county receives for the purchase.
According to the Pilot Hill land purchase agreement, the agreement would provide the County Commission with a custom webpage for the purchase with safe links for donations.
The County Commission also approved another account with the community foundation to have a separate source to inform the public about the county’s attempt to acquire the land, Jones said.
“We are also putting together a second account, the Pilot Hill Land Purchase (Education) Fund,” she said. “That account would be used for everything we need to do to promote the purchase, whether it is newspaper advertisements, brochures or whatever it is we need to do.”
Restrictions for how the acquired money can be used were included in the agreement in case the county is not able to complete the transaction, Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent said.
“If for some reason we do not meet our goal of $14 million and are unable to purchase property by September of 2018 — at that time, the money reserved for the county would be used on other projects,” Trent said. “It cannot be used on personnel, but it can be used for other charitable (causes).”