JOINT POWERS BOARD SIGNS PARK LEASE FOR NATURE & DISCOVERY CENTER
Thermopolis – The Joint Powers Board for the Big Horn Basin Nature & Discovery Center has signed a lease agreement with Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources to begin the initial investigative land work on property in Hot Springs State Park.
The seven-acre site is located at the outskirts of Thermopolis, across the Highway from the former Armory Building, between Highway 20 north to Worland and the Burlington-Northern railroad track, which borders the river.
The Wyoming state legislature passed House Bill 239 in 2009, setting aside funding for determining the feasibility of the Discovery Center project. This includes the suitability of the site and the sustainability of the project.
The proposed facility must act as a destination site and expand the community’s ability to attract and serve its citizens and visitors. It must also create a venue for supporting the growth of arts, humanities and natural sciences activities and continuing education.
The legislation required that a joint powers board be organized and that a lease be signed before funding would be released. The state agrees that all requirements have been met, and the request for funding was approved Thurs., April 8.
The Joint Powers Board agreement was signed August 18, 2009, and the certificate of organization was filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State, November 2. Members appointed to the Joint Powers Board are Frank T. Manning, chairman (representing the county, 3-year term); Toni Casciato, vice-chairman (representing the town, 3-year term); Vicki Herren, secretary (1-year term); Ann Hardesty, treasurer (2-year term); and Tom Anderson (2-year term).
The lease was negotiated with Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources and signed March 12. It requires that the Joint Powers Board provide interpretive services for Hot Springs State Park, Legend Rock Petroglyph State Historic Sites and Boysen State Park.
Preliminary investigation of the land site will begin this spring. Schutz-Foss Architects, Gillette, will manage the site work.