Mr. Harrison’s December 27th letter in the Casper Star Tribune (see the link below) regarding the proposed Cirrus Sky Technology Park perpetuates misinformation about the project.
First of all, the Wyoming Business Council has scrutinized this grant proposal as will the State Lands and Investment Board. While there are never any guarantees, due diligence to help ensure this grant money is not “wasted” is being done by intelligent and competent people.
The $5.4 million grant is not for a 2,200 acre project, rather for an approximate 160 acre project that is intended for technology related businesses. In addition, the City of Laramie has drafted a specific zoning ordinance to limit the use as such. There will be no heavy industrial activities, rather a well planned development consisting of high quality construction.
Regarding the ridgeline protection, the City of Laramie will be protecting the ridgeline with a wide bike path and an additional setback requirement from building construction from the ridgeline.
I believe the 2,200 acres Mr. Harrison refers to is the overall conceptual plan that was developed as part of a planning study for the Cirrus Sky Technology Park. This conceptual study is just that, conceptual. It has not been scrutinized by the public. However, there will be ample time for discussion of the conceptual plan as it moves through the public planning and zoning process as prescribed in the City of Laramie.
Mr. Harrison, you have been involved in the community for many years and I know you are a very educated and intelligent person. You claim this approach has proven ineffective in other state-aided developments in Laramie and around Wyoming. I would agree that there are empty business parks across the state. Powell for instance has several boondoggle parks. However this strategy has been successful in Laramie previously and Cheyenne has seen businesses flourish. How do you explain Swan Ranch or the North Range Business Park both in Cheyenne?
This project is not an end run on democracy as you claim. This is an endeavor that has followed the rules set forth by the State of Wyoming, through the democratic process of the state legislature. It is of note however, that your motivations have not become clear to the public. If this were going to be a poorly designed and implemented project (which it is not) I would also be concerned if my back yard abutted the project like yours does.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion on this issue and I applaud you for your willingness to speak up. Just to make sure the public is aware of my standing I want to disclose my involvement of this project. I am the incoming chair of the Laramie Economic Development Corporation, am the owner/CEO of Coffey Engineering and Surveying, LLC, I was a consultant to the City of Laramie for the Cirrus Sky Park planning study and I am a resident of Laramie, Wyoming. It is a fact that I seek to improve the economy of Laramie and by doing so I stand to benefit along with every other business and resident in the community. My business will participate in the development of the project by providing land surveying services. I am proud to stand forth as a leader in the community and make a difference.