I had a great experience on the 17th when I was invited by my friend Mary Gutherie, to welcome the guests to the last performance of the Cheyenne Civic Concert Band. The concerts are held the first and third Thursdays between Memorial Day and Labor Day at the Brimmer Amphitheater. I was so impressed with the quality of the music played by the volunteer musicians. It reminds me of my college days in Laramie when we would grab a bucket of chicken and a cheap bottle of wine and watch the band in Washington Park. I would recommend you bring a lawn chair and enjoy a show.
I met with Robin Roling, COO of Cheyenne Regional Medical Center to get caught up on the upcoming remodel of the Mother Baby Unit and the latest happenings at our hospital. We also talked about the homelessness issue and the effects it has on our community. The unpaid medical care, damage to buildings, and the human suffering associated with those who are homeless is both frustrating and heartbreaking. I am working on getting a coalition together to figure out a way to make a difference in this area. The hospital has been a great partner in our community.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization is charged with planning our road system in an area in and around Cheyenne. Tom Mason and his team make sure we have plans to insure a robust transportation system today and into the future. We spent time last Friday going over the budget for next year in preparation for our next MPO Policy Committee meeting of which I am a member with Commissioner Thompson and WYDOT’s Ralph Tarango. I enjoy looking into the future and what our roadways need to look like.
Our employee of the month for July is Sam Crowley. She works in our planning department as a planner. I took her to lunch to enjoy a bowl of gumbo and garlic bread at the Rib and Chop House. It was nice to get to know her and enjoy some time together. Sam is a ball of energy and a real asset to our city. After lunch we went to the home of Kris Hunter to be part of the awarding of the Dubois Award for her great efforts in historic preservation. We toured the house and I was impressed by what she has done with the place, and the treasures located in her home. The only sad part was Bill Dubois was not with us anymore to give her the award in person.
I have shared my love of golf with you, and Saturday I played in a charity scramble to benefit St. Mary’s school. Stephen, Paul, and Dale made the day a blast. We went 12 under par, but that was not good enough by 8 strokes for a victory. One thing I would like to report is the amazing condition the Airport Golf Course is in. Ron Conard is our greens keeper and he and his crew are rock stars in keeping our courses in great shape.
Sunday afternoon found me at the Otto Road Shooting Club watching the International Rapid Fire shooting event. These pistol shooters were amazing, and I enjoyed handing out the awards at the end of the event. The event required the shooters to stand 25 meters from 5 targets lined up side by side. They must shoot each target in the first two rounds in 8 seconds, then two rounds in 6 seconds, and the last two rounds in 4 seconds. You start with your hands on your head, draw your pistol, and make the shots in the required time. I would have been lucky to hit a target and they almost never missed. This annual event brings shooters from all over the country including a couple teams from the Border Patrol. I am happy to see hotel rooms filled and restaurants busy due to these kinds of events.
The newest census has shown our population has grown to over 65,000 people. One good part of this is we get another retail liquor license. I met with our city clerk to go over the process of awarding the license. We will be introducing a resolution in the next week to set the timing for applications and maybe some of the criteria we will use to determine how it will be awarded. My hope is we will use the license to encourage development in an area that is important to Cheyenne. The Hitching Post, Reed Ave Corridor, and the Hynds and downtown hole to name a few.
Colonel Barrington is the newest Commander of FE Warren AFB. We met on Monday to discuss our partnership with Frontier Days. I think there are many ways we can partner to make the Rodeo an even better event from the customer side of the show. One of the biggest being to expand the parking for our guests and volunteers. We will be creating a working group to collaborate on the possibilities.
Each month I sign certificates to celebrate our employees 5, 10 and 15…. Year anniversaries with the city. This month I invited Steve Ganison to the office to celebrate his 30 years with our sanitation department. Holly in the mayor’s office makes a beautiful buffalo plaque to recognize the folks who have worked for the city for this long. It was fun to catch up with Steve and thank him for 30 years of dedicated service.
Getting people to live downtown is something I have long supported. It will support the businesses there and encourage more to come. The old Central Plaza Hotel on Central Ave has new management, and they came to share their vision for getting people to live in a remodeled hotel. Corey Loghry and Carter Ward have a vision to remake the hotel into modern living units and I am excited to see the progress they are making.
Monday evening was another meeting of the Governing Body. I want to again say how much I appreciate the way the City Council works with each other and with me in the mayor’s office. I enjoy the different personalities.
We have talked about the upcoming 6th penny sales tax election in November. A group of us got together very early one morning to discuss how we will educate the voters on the projects and the importance of the projects to the city, county and the three towns in the eastern part of the county. We have plans to talk with civic groups across the county to educate and answer questions on the ballot. I hope everyone will take the time to review the projects between now and November.
We had a committee meeting to update and discuss the project involving our dream of getting the public access to the historic Union Pacific Steam Fleet in the roundhouse. I know this project will be tough, but if we are successful, it will create a destination tourism opportunity for Cheyenne. We have a great team working on the details, and I can’t wait to see the final product.
The historic Pump House is located on Ames Avenue next to Crow Creek. It was built in the late 1800’s and was part of our water system for a number of years. It has been abandoned for a while now and is now in very poor repair. I met with representatives of Historic Cheyenne Inc to talk about their plan to stabilize and mothball the building until the financing can be arranged to do the final restoration. I love what this beautiful old building could become and am excited to be part of the solution. Next step is to educate the council and get their buy in.
I toured the USDA High Plains Research Center on Tuesday afternoon. This property is owned by the city but has a 199-year lease to the USDA. They have studied plants for almost 100 years now and have shared the results with the world to improve horticultural practices. Over the past 20 years they have given parts of the center back to the city, and that was part of the reason to for my tour. The USDA has decided that some of the historic houses are no longer needed by the agency. I appreciate Justin for giving us a great tour, and we will need to work on a plan to save the 5 historic homes located on the Center.
I am traveling on Thursday and Friday to attend the promotion of Tony Cotton to the rank of General at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. Tony was the Commander of the 20th Air Force here in Cheyenne as a two-star general. He is going to get a 4th star and has been selected for the job of Commander of Global Strike. I am so happy for Tony and Marsha. He is the most senior ICBM member in the Air Force and will be a great commander.
We have so much to do over the next weeks, and I look forward to sharing our progress with you.