Tag: priority

Civic Center, new cemetery top recreation department’s sixth-penny priority list | Local News

CHEYENNE – With another sixth-penny sales tax ballot coming down the pipeline, members of the city’s Community Recreation and Events Department outlined their top priorities – Cheyenne Civic Center renovations and a new cemetery – at a City Council work session Monday night.

According to City Treasurer Robin Lockman, the city has collected $33,691,443 out of the previous $40,850,000 ballot thus far, and Council President Mark Rinne said he anticipates another sixth-penny ballot to go out to voters next fall.

“I think it would serve us well to start doing our homework now and get some background on the sixth-penny projects that some of our departments would like to move forward,” Rinne said at the work session.

The first proposal outlined an expanded remodel of the Cheyenne Civic Center, which hasn’t seen many updates in its 40-year lifespan, according to Community Recreation and Events Director Teresa Moore. The department completed a conceptual design in 2019, in anticipation of sixth-penny discussions, and the proposed project totals around $40 million, though Moore noted the renovations could be scaled back with budgetary constraints.

“This facility was built in 1981; it’s coming up on 40 years. During those 40 years, there has been little investment in this building,” Moore said.

Currently, the Civic Center has no loading dock for performers, an outdated HVAC system, inadequate seating and insufficient equipment that leads to using rentals.

The renovations would revamp the front of the building, allowing more visibility for the facility and advertising for events. The bathroom facilities would also be expanded, doubling the amount of water closets and urinals; a loading dock would be added; the concession area would be expanded; and the seating would be improved to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

A multi-purpose room would also be added for rehearsals, weddings, lectures and meetings, and it would be available to rent.

“Cheyenne and the region support the Civic Center and deserve better functionality and a high-quality experience,” Moore said. “Cheyenne has made an investment in this asset, creating it in the first place, and we think it needs our protection and our investments for future generations.”

The second proposal from Community Recreation and Events is for a new cemetery that would be built at the arboretum, next to the new Cheyenne National Cemetery. According to department Deputy Director Jason Sanchez, the city is currently running out of space.

“Most of the available spaces are single spaces; they’re undesirable. We don’t have any family plots remaining,” Sanchez said.

The new cemetery would house 3,644 interments, which Sanchez said would last the city about 20 more years, as they do an average of 150 burials annually. A cemetery master plan was completed in 2014, and the estimated cost is just over $7 million for the new cemetery, as well as to update the irrigation system at Lakeview Cemetery.

While some councilmen questioned whether the city should let the private cemetery industry take over, the department stood by the idea that this is a service

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Top priority of Forest Lake is for drinking water, not recreation

Forest Lake at Thousand Hill State Park serves as one of the primary water supply sources for the City of Kirksville. But, some residents are worried their recreation opportunities may become more difficult due to the invasive curly-leaf pondweed that can be found in the water.

A letter is circulating on social media and has been sent to Kirksville City Council members.

It states maintenance of Forest Lake has been removed from the city’s budget for upcoming years – which means the weed can take over quickly, making boating and swimming hazardous.

KTVO went to the city, and asked Kirksville Public Works Director Glenn Balliew why maintenance of the lake was no longer budgeted for 2021.

“We’ve always maintained Forest Lake – We had a weed problem that popped up about three or four years ago. We did a three year program to determine how that affected water quality. We determined that it doesn’t really affect water quality at all, as far as water treatment goes. The first priority of Forest Lake is for drinking water, not for recreation.”

Balliew says that from the public works standpoint, the removal of the weed is not necessary, and can instead be treated, if needed.

“If when the weed decays it requires a little more treatment process, it’s more cost effective for the taxpayer to spend the money on treatment, then spend $50,000 on weed removal because the cost is minimal to treat that water.”

Last year, a small dredging project took place to see how host effective that method would be for cleaning up the lake.

“There’s a lot of moving parts to that – obviously the dirt, the silt, has to go somewhere. How do you get access to take it somewhere, how do you get that moved up onto the shore, and then move it from there after it dries, how do you barge it out – there’s a lot of different things to go on with that. It would be millions and millions of dollars – so, is it cost effective? That’s something that the taxpayers will have to decide.”

Balliew said that in addition to taxpayers, the state would also have to be on board because the state owns all of the property around the lake and handles all recreational activities on the water.

He said he hopes the state is willing to get involved with the city, should another dredging project take place in the future.

“That’s going to be a long term program. We found that out very quickly when we tried to do some dredging to figure out what it looked like – that’s why there’s no dredging in there now, because it’s just not going to be something that you just put $100,000 in and do every year.”

The city has informed all needed state entities that dredging is not in the budget – but has not received a response.

But, Balliew adds the 2021 budget for the City of Kirksville has not yet

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