During the warm up portion of last night's Gillette City Council work session, Councilman Robyn Kuntz reiterated that he is very apprehensive to see the initial stages of the Field of Dreams project going to bid. Kuntz also said that he is still receiving calls from members the public who are opposed to moving the project forward. Before opening the topic up to discussion from other council members, Mayor Tom Murphy spent about two minutes responding to Kuntz's concerns. Murphy once again restated the need for athletic fields in Campbell County as well as other reasons to move forward with the project.
"The contractors in this community are starving to death, we are never going to get a better price on it, I've got a litany of things that are of great benefit to the community as reasons to move ahead with this project."----Murphy
The Mayor said one of those benefits would be the opportunity to diversify the local economy by bringing in large sporting events to fill hotels, restaurants, and other small businesses. Murphy also pointed out that he feels Gillette's reserve accounts are in great shape.
Kuntz and Councilman Everett Boss responded to the Mayors comment on reserve accounts by saying in unison, "We're going to need them." Boss went on to say he felt with the current economic situation and the number of large projects the City is involved in, it would be better to focus on other things like water needs.
Councilmen Boss, Kuntz and City Council President Kevin McGrath have been consistently outnumbered on the most recent votes surrounding the controversial project by a 4-3 tally. Last night however Councilman Ted Jerred also indicated apprehension about moving on with the project at this time. Jerred said it may be time to slow down the project until the post election picture develops some more.
"I would like to see a price, I am way hesitant to move forward."---Jerred
Murphy agreed with Jerred that he would also like to see an updated estimated cost for the project. Dustin Hamilton, the City's Director of Engineering and Development Services, told the council last night that current estimates for the project are being prepared presently. Hamilton said that great prices are a real possibility but he did not want to speculate on an exact price.
Forrest Rothleutner, who earlier this month won election to Ward 2, will soon be replacing Everett Boss (who did not seek re-election) on the council. Rothleutner said throughout his campaign that he, like Boss, has no plans to support the project at this time.
More on Field Of Dreams Project: http://www.ci.gillette.wy.us/index.aspx?page=1177