CHEYENNE – Merry Christmas! This is a special time of year where we have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. I love to watch the movie White Christmas with my family, wrap presents, and enjoy the season. We know all the words and sing along with the songs. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season and has the chance to be with loved ones.
Delissalde is the artist that created the four sisters statues in the state capitol. They are an amazing addition to our restored capitol. We had dinner with Delessalde to discuss our Capitol Ave bronze project, and he presented us with a vision of how to blend our bronzes with the Capitol. He is gifted and has a unique way of understanding a project and bringing added value to it.
My boys grew up playing hockey, and we lived at the Cheyenne Ice and Events Center for many years. Some of our favorite sports memories are the boys on the ice. I love that we have a place for hockey in our city. Councilman Cook and I met with a couple of hockey parents to discuss how ice time is scheduled and shared at the Ice and Events center. We are planning a bigger meeting in the new year. Judy and I miss the WAHL weekends hauling kids all over the state for hockey games.
Saturday morning was another amazing experience for me as mayor. I was invited to the wreath laying at the base cemetery. It was a crisp winter morning, and you could hear the crunch of the snow under the honor guards’ shoes as they marched with the colors. We laid wreaths on the veterans’ graves, some were Buffalo Soldiers from the late 1860s. Taps at the end of the day saw many of us in tears. Alf and Ms. Salle once again serving our veterans, with Lowe’s retail store making it happen financially. I love the way Cheyenne steps up.
I have enjoyed my time serving with Pete Laybourn this term. We had coffee to catch up and discuss ways we can work together to make our city better. Things like the Reed Ave Corridor project, DDA, MPO, traffic fines, Civic Center, and how to make our Depot Plaza more beautiful. No one works harder for Cheyenne than does Councilman Pete.
Adrian Crews (House Buyers of Cheyenne) is a Cheyenne man who owned a 1965 Ford Mustang. It was red and white, and beautiful. Unbelievably, Adrian decided to give it away to benefit Cheyenne’s My Front Door, a local nonprofit that works to move families to home ownership. Monday, I was honored to draw the name of the winner, Chris Miller of Cheyenne. I keep saying it, but Cheyenne folks are great, and Adrian’s generosity is a shining example.
A group of us walked 15th street from the depot to Reed Ave. The purpose of our walk was to talk about the upcoming railroad themed project and make sure we are all on the same page. I can visualize a steam locomotive and rail cars on display along the roadway. Some of them converted into shops, restaurants, and maybe a VRBO. We stopped at Chronicles Distilling for a tour of their operation. Chase gave us a tour and shared how it came to be. What a beautiful facility. It is exactly the kind of business we hope will thrive on 15th street. The Tart Lemon Vodka was fun.
Vicki Nemecek is the director of our Public Works department. I feel like we are a bit unconnected with our building being closed for boiler repairs. It was nice to sit for an hour and catch up with all the facets of her department. The biggest topic was the status of the repairs on our building. Good news is we now have all the consultant reports and have a game plan. The parts are ordered and we are on the way to bringing everyone back together.
Tuesday we had a couple meetings related to economic development. One was a banker that LEADS wanted us to meet that could help with our URA efforts. The other was a Business Expansion opportunity in the downtown area. Moving businesses into older buildings takes real cooperation, and we have a good team working to make it happen.
The city and county invest some of our 5th penny sales tax proceeds to help fund some United Way projects that benefit the less fortunate in our community. We have a Human Services Advisory Council to give direction on how the money should be invested. I really enjoy the way everyone works to make sure we get the best bang for our dollars. In this meeting we finalized our grant process and timeline. RFP’s will be going out for funding after the first of the year.
Searing Industries is a manufacturer of steel tubing and beams in the Swan Ranch business park. I toured the facility last summer and was impressed by how much technology plays a part in the manufacturing process. I was invited to their Christmas party. It was great to hear the story from the owners of how they chose Cheyenne, and to thank them for the investment and jobs they have created. I am looking forward to learning their future plans. They really do love doing business in Cheyenne, and the employees that moved with the plant love it too.
Our newest city council member is Dr. Michelle Aldrich. It is fun to see someone who grew up as a friend of my little sister as an adult and contributing member of our community. Seeing her makes me think about being 12 years old and growing up in Sun Valley. So happy we have grown up and had time to have coffee and catch up. Michelle is dedicated and attends every council and city event. We talked about our upcoming goal setting session, parking concerns around high schools, dangerous trailers, ways we can improve, and looking forward to a successful new year.
This week’s question comes from Dusty. He quoted my Mayor’s Minute where I discussed meeting with a Colorado developer. He wants to know what I am doing to actively engage our local developers and giving them the first chance to bid these projects to ensure our state’s money stays in our community.
Dusty, I do take meetings from out of state developers looking to make investments in our community. For every one of those, I have many with local developers. I seek them out and offer to help in any way I can to make their experience with the city exceptional. I agree with the idea of local investment keeping the money in our local community, but I will not discourage anyone from investing in Cheyenne.