After two-and-a-half hours of heated discussion Monday night, the Cheyenne City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to move the Civic Center Commons project forward.

"It has languished long enough," said Councilman Jeff White. "Obviously there's disagreement, there are bruised egos, but why let that spoil a perfectly good public/private partnership that would benefit the entire community."

City Engineer Jim Voeller says he stopped work on the roughly $5.9 million drainage project -- which is being funded by the sixth-penny sales tax, FEMA, State Loan and Investment Board and Wyoming Business Council grants -- because he believes the city lied to FEMA about how much flood damage the downtown area sees during a typical two-year rain event when it applied for the $3 million grant.

"It's a case of legal versus illegal," said Voeller. "Both our sixth-penny dollars and the FEMA grant were designed for flood control, not a park."

"I'm not buying it," said White. "FEMA has vetted it twice, they've done their due diligence and they have approved it."

"There's never been any mention of fraud, mismanagement or lying from anybody other than the people who are opposed to this project," White added.

The ordinance will be on third and final reading when the City Council meets on April 10.

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