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Consultant hired by Cheyenne LEADS will help develop an Urban Renewal Authority in effort to revive ‘blighted’ downtown property

An Urban Renewal Authority is in the works after a recent consultant hire was made
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:42 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Mayor Patrick Collins had many priorities he wished to address once he took office. One of them was his goal in improving Cheyenne’s overall Economy development and the downtown areas infrastructure. Throughout his term, he has been adamant about finding a solution to properties that were staples to not only the downtown area, but the Cheyenne community; that have been plagued by unfortunate circumstances and since, have degraded over the years.

The Hitching Post, The Hynds Building and, the downtown hole are the three areas that have not only the city’s attention, but the attention of downtown organizations the seek to take Cheyenne to greater heights.

Many organizations have collaborated in effort to being able to revive the ‘blighted’ properties. Cheyenne LEADS, Visit Cheyenne, the DDA, and the city/governing body’s are all on board with looking to develop a plan that will address these issues.

Cheyenne LEADS was able to provide the step necessary in developing a plan, with the recent hiring of a consultant, whom will help develop an Urban Renewal Authority. An Urban Renewal Authority or, URA, is an entity that are utilized throughout the U.S. to generate tax increment financing. The money generated from the tax increment financing, will be used towards projects. This results as an incentive to developers and the government in to being involved and taking projects.

For the aforementioned properties, Mayor Collins noted in his ‘Mayor’s Minute’ that, “This URA is a tool that can be used to remediate blighted properties and help get them cleaned up and back into serving our community. I see areas like the Hitching Post Inn, the downtown hole, and the Reed Avenue Corridor as places where a URA might make a difference. It was great to learn about how a URA works. It is not a magic bullet, but another valuable tool in our redevelopment toolbox. I hope you will see some action in the next few months creating this board.”

With the movement of reinvigorating downtown, the URA which may not even be the end solution. Has become a integral step towards the growth of not only the economy but the infrastructure of the downtown area. CEO of Cheyenne LEADs Betsy Hale, is a resident of the downtown area. Since her start last Spring in the head honcho position at Cheyenne LEADS. She has sought different avenues and solutions to the blighted properties that once held such a value in the Cheyenne community. She says “I live downtown so this is very important to me to see that property re-developed.” However, Ms. Hale also is looking at how these blighted properties potentially could be hurting the growth of Cheyenne’s economic opportunity’s by stating, “I also find that when you leave properties that have been burned down. It sends a message to companies and corporate leaders do these people care about the flavor and feel of their downtown? Or, are they just going to leave this hole in the ground. Are they just going to let these iconic older buildings rundown? So, as a part of our economy development role here, we feel like working with our partners at the Greater Cheyenne Chamber, the DDA and also Visit Cheyenne. We really need to reinvest and reinvigorate the downtown.”

Cheyenne LEADS is continuing their efforts in creating a viable plan. However, since this is in the department of development, Hale reminds residents it will take time to develop the properties accordingly.

There has not been any set plan created just you in attacking these issues.

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