Fort Laramie lagoon project on hold

Logan Dailey/lingle guide Fort Laramie Town Councilman Cody Flayler and Mayor Joyce Evans discuss issues with the newly upgraded lagoon at Fort Laramie’s Nov. 12 special town council meeting.

FORT LARAMIE – The Fort Laramie Town Council convened for a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12. Mayor Joyce Evans told the council the town’s lagoon project had run into a ground water issue that required progress to halt.

Evans said the project was progressing with a successful enlargement of lagoon three. After the enlargement, ground water came up into the lagoon and filled it up to a point where the engineers would not be able to pump it out without affecting neighboring communities.

Evans told the council the town of Fort Laramie and Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would have to reach an agreement on how the matter would be resolved prior to any further progress on the lagoon.

Currently, engineers hired by the town of Fort Laramie are planning to bring the level of the lagoon upward so a liner can be safely inserted. This will cause the lagoon to be shallower but would maintain the same footprint on the land. According to Evans, the engineers believe moving the lagoon upward would allow better evaporation of the lagoon.

The unforeseen issues with the lagoon were likely caused by early precipitation and a higher than normal water table at the beginning of the project. Despite the issues, the lagoon size will still be enlarged from its previous surface area and will also have a new, more effective liner installed. The new liner will prevent any sewage runoff from dumping into the North Platte River. Evans told the council the previous liner was a clay liner.

The town will likely have to forego the addition of baffles to the system at this time due to extra incurred costs associated with the repairs needed to the lagoon. Evans told the council the baffles could be installed at a later time, if the municipal budget will allow for the install.

In other business, the council discussed a previously approved $1,500 to pay for the 2020 fireworks show, but Councilwoman and member of the Fort Laramie Fire Department Kelly Loveland said the fire department had not received the funds.

Evans and Town Clerk and Treasurer Kim Craft said they would make sure the fire department was reimbursed the due amount.

The council discussed paying an additional $1,500 for the 2021 fireworks show. The town councilmembers agreed this should be an established payment made to the fire department to support the show. Loveland said the fireworks typically total around $3,000.

Councilman Cody Flayler approved of the idea and told the council, “it’s usually a bigger, grander event and people are more likely to come here and spend money here.”

Councilwoman Laura Curtsinger motioned to pay the $1,500 for the 2021 show and have it made a sustainable payment as a line item in the town’s budget. Cody Flayler seconded the motion with Loveland abstaining from the vote. The motion passed.

The council also discussed the establishment of an account for the fire department to place left over funds from the annual budget. The account could then be used to pay for vehicles, match grants or assist with other fire department expenditures.

A motion was made to create the account and the motion passed with Loveland abstaining.

The next meeting of the Fort Laramie Town Council will be Dec. 9 at 7:00 p.m.

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