When the University of Wyoming convenes a task force to oversee the new dorm construction, the city of Laramie will have its voice heard after the Laramie City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Mayor Joe Shumway as the city’s representative.

“We feel strongly that we need to be at the table for this task force,” Shumway said during Tuesday’s meeting. “There’s a lot of items that have great interest to the community, to the university, to the city and to all of us.”

As laid out in the final draft of House Bill 293, the task force will consist of 10 total members, including representatives from the UW community, members of the UW Board of Trustees, members of the state legislature and a representative appointed by the governor. Shumway is the city’s sole representative.

Per HB 293, the task force will “make recommendations to the University of Wyoming board of trustees and University of Wyoming administration regarding any aspect of the student housing project.”

Shumway said the $300 million project, along with the other millions of dollars invested in the university’s infrastructure over the last 5-10 years, puts “a lot of pressure on the city to provide the services and infrastructure and everything that we have to be involved with and budget for.”

“It’s a huge project and a huge investment by the state of Wyoming,” Shumway said Tuesday. “We feel privileged to be at table discussing this, because it’s such a huge impact on our community.”

Although one version of the bill included City Manager Janine Jordan as a member of the task force, she was removed after House members suggested they only wanted elected officials to be involved.

Councilman Paul Weaver thanked local legislators who “listened to their constituents” and amended the bill to include city representation in the task force, something that wasn’t originally included.

The Council voted to approve Councilman Brian Harrington as the proxy representative should Shumway be unable to attend a meeting.

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