The City of Laramie is urging the state to pay for the purchase of some 11,000 acres of land east of Laramie, so that the community can protect its water supply.
The state has been asked to spend up to $20 million to purchase the land from former State Rep. Doug Samuelson, who many believe wants to use that money to in turn purchase a larger piece of land called the Y Cross Ranch in Laramie County.
Some in the state have expressed concern about the sale, since it is being driven by State Sen. Phil Nicholas, who is Samuelson’s attorney. Nicholas is co-chair of the Joint Appropriations Committee which has already endorsed the sale.
Although she understands the issue is controversial, Laramie City Manager Janine Jordan says the city simply wants Samuelson’s 11-thousand acres to ensure that development never occurs on the property which is the recharge area for the Laramie’s aquifer.
“In my mind and certainly in the city council’s mind that is divorced completely from any discussion about the Y-Cross ranch.”
Jordan says if the property that contains the re-charge area is purchased, development could be disallowed which could protect the aquifer well into the future.