KKTY NEWS Apr 14 Archive



(Wed 4/23/14) - Fire Destroys Home... Douglas Volunteer Firefighters worked quickly to control a major house fire in Douglas this afternoon.

Emergency responders were called out at about 1:45 Wednesday afternoon to a fire at 740 Grant Street, a home owned by Yvonne Rexius. The fire apparently started in the attached garage on the south side of the home.

Douglas Fire Chief Rick Andrews said the fire destroyed the garage and its contents, as well as part of a back room, and the rest of the house took smoke and water damage. Andrews said the windy conditions complicated the fire department's job... audio here

No injuries were reported in the blaze. The cause of the fire is undetermined, and as a matter of routine, the investigation has been turned over to the Wyoming State Fire Marshall's office.

(Tue 4/22/14) - Assisted Care Living for Douglas Seniors gets a green light.

The Douglas Planning Commission heard discussion for an hour and a half last night as they considered a conditional use permit for Douglas Care Center to build a two-story, 30-unit assisted care facility on the northeast corner of their property on Birch Street.

After hearing a presentaion on the project from Douglas Care Center president Joe Rude, the Commission listened to and talked about a variety of issues with neighbors and others concerned with a lot of the details of the planned facility.

While most agreed that there was a deep need for an assisted care facility in Douglas, many of the concerns revolved around traffic and parking issues, use of the alley on the east side of the facility for access, landscaping, and the placement of the building close to the lot line.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to forward the project to the Douglas City Council with a do pass recommendation, with a stipulation that the alleyways not be used for commercial truck traffic.

The planning commission also approved on a 5-0 vote a development application to build a 75-room La Quinta Hotel off I-25 exit 140 at 1761 Muirfield Court, just south and west of the new Hampton Inn & Suites. That action will also be forwarded for consideration by the Douglas City Council.

(Tue 4/22/14) - The proposed Pioneer Wind Park south of Glenrock is moving ahead.

Rocky Mountain Power last week announced an agreement to buy electricity generated by the yet-to-be-built 46 turbine project. The 20-year contract would begin in 2016.

It's not the last hurdle, though. Utah-based developer Wasatch Wind still needs to announce a funding plan by May 18th, and begin construction by July 18th to meet the terms of its state siting permit.

Plans to build the 80-megawatt facility were first announced in 2010.

(Thu 4/10/14) - Still plenty of details to be worked out, but a new rec center for Douglas took another step forward last night. The Douglas Rec Commission, Douglas City Council and Converse County Commissioners held a joint meeting at Douglas High School to hear recommendations from the rec center committee.

The three groups voted to proceed with plans for a 70 thousand square foot facility that would be built on 25 acres of land donated by Wagonhound Land & Livestock west of I-25 off Esterbrook Road. Wagonhound's proposal included donation of street and utility infrastructure that would save 1.5 to 2.5 million dollars over the two other proposed sites.

The proposed rec center would include an aquatic area, gyms, walking & jogging track, weights, aerobic & dance rooms, multi-purpose area, birthday party and meeting rooms, multi sport simulator, bouldering wall and racquetball courts.

The proposed facility would not include a competitive pool, an ice rink, or combined facilities with the Douglas Boys and Girls Club.

The new rec center would be owned and operated by a newly formed rec board that would be seperate from the Douglas school board, which currently serves that capacity. The new board would have nine members, 3 each appointed by the county, the city and the school board. The proposal would commit 80 percent of the current rec mill levy to operate the center.

(Wed 4/09/14) - The high cost of scarce housing helps make Converse County the third most expensive place to live in Wyoming. The State Economic Analysis Division has released their Cost of Living index for the fourth quarter of 2013, and as usual, Teton County tops the list at 133 percent of average. Sublette County comes in at 110 percent. Converse County jumps to #3 at 105 percent, followed by Campbell County at 104, Carbon at 103, Sweetwater and Natrona at 101, and Laramie County at 100 percent. Converse County was also #3 in housing costs at 109 percent of statewide average.

The least expensive places in the state to live? Platte County and Niobrara County at 88 percent, and Goshen County at 89 percent.

(Wed 4/09/14) - No immediate changes in public hours at the Douglas Rec Center. About 30 people showed up at the Douglas Recreation Commission's meeting last night for an open public hearing to discuss the possibility of limiting public access to the Rec during school hours. Board member Lee Igo explained the issue... audio here

The Rec Board heard a variety of opinions from the public, including several who use the rec facilities on a regular basis. Much of the conversation centered on keeping the racquetball courts, the weight room and the pool open and available for public use, but most of the commenters seemed to understand the security issue of having the public in the building during school hours.

Rec board chairman Mark Curtis said they're really not trying to shut the whole thing down... audio here

Curtis thanked those in attendance for their input, and said that the board would continue to discuss their options. He did say that the Rec Board didn't expect to make any changes to rec center access before the end of the school year, and that any changes would be implemented next fall, at the earliest.