By Ernie Over
The Riverton City Council welcomed a new member of the police department at its last meeting August 15, with the oath of office administered to Cassandra Barnes. Police Chief Eric Hurtado said Barnes comes with seven years of experience as a certified detention officer. He said the RPD now has 23 sworn officers, including three detectives and one shared position with the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation. He said the patrol division is still down seven officers from being fully staffed.
• The city’s fiscal year audit was said to come with an “unmodified opinion” which was termed the best one possible. Abby Hagerman from the accounting firm of Kingler Hagerman said the city provided all of the necessary information over nine months to complete the comprehensive audit.
• A proclamation supporting the Rendezvous City Beef Roundup was approved along with a proclamation urging the public to always call 811 when planning any digs to prevent damaging underground cables or utilities.
• A fireworks permit was authorized for the home Riverton High School football games so a cannon could be fired at each local team score. It was noted by the mayor and council that they hoped the cannon would be fired off many times during a game.
• Bethany Baldes appeared to thank the city for its work along Davis Lane, where her family lives. “I wanted to start off this meeting on a positive note. Thanks for taking this project on,” she said.
• Greg Talabas and Carol Harper from Riverton Community Watch appeared to report there are now three separate community watch neighborhoods in the city . The pair said they would also like to start up the community safety meetings again this coming year. The new neighborhoods are in SW Riverton and one in SC Riverton.
• Jim Cassidy of Sweetwater Gardens gave the city council two thumbs up for taking quick action on providing salary and benefit boots to the police department. He suggested the city needs to do more work dealing with vagrants, the unhoused, shoplifting and graffiti across town.
• Diana Reach addressed the council to complain about the growth of weeds in the city. It was noted it is the property owners responsibility to take care of the weeds on their own property.
• Christopher House Veach was appointed to the city’s Rendezvous Balloon Rally Committee.
• Third reading for annexation and zoning of the Reddon Subdivision along RainTree Drive was approved.
• It was noted that a fly-in at Central Wyoming Regional Airport has been set for September 9 and that the fly-in would alternate between Riverton and Lander.
• The Paws and Pearls Banquet to benefit Riverton’s Paws for Life Animal League Shelter will be held, also on September 9, but in the evening at St. Margaret’s Gym.
• Mayor Tim Hancock said he had met with representatives from The Daniels Fund which provides scholarships to students from Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15. “There’s a lot of money out there for our students, and I’m actively trying to get recipients from this area,” he said.