The Natrona County Commission and the City of Casper on Tuesday approved an agreement to receive eight acres from the city for a new city-county health center.

The commission and the council approved the memorandum of understanding on their consent agendas during their regular meetings.

The signatures by county officials including Commission Chairman Steve Freel and city officials including Casper Mayor Bruce Knell made it official.

That starts a process for a new health center.

During the past 69 years, the City of Casper/Natrona County Health Department has outgrown its current location at 475 S. Spruce St., as it serves county residents and the poor, according to the memorandum of understanding to transfer the property.

Ian Delap, Townsquare Media.
Ian Delap, Townsquare Media.

Natrona County has been awarded one-time federal funding through the state's American Rescue Plan Act program. That reduces a tax burden on Natrona County residents.

The memorandum authorizes the transfer of about eight acres northeast of South Conwell and East Second streets from the city to the county.

The new health center would be nine blocks south of the Banner Health Wyoming Medical Center and near other clinics and health care providers. The deal also would align with the city's planning objectives.

The memorandum of understanding sets these requirements for the City of Casper:

The exchange for the eight acres would be in consideration of $100, a substantial contribution by the county for the construction, and the future financial and other support of the Health Center, according to the memorandum.

"The parties agree that the fair market value of the Property is offset by the substantial consideration provided by the County to the City as described above," according to the memorandum.

To get there, the city and county are working on a survey and legal aspects of the property, utility easements, storm water runoff, and an appraisal.

Next, the city will publish a notice for three consecutive weeks before a public hearing can be held. The notice must include the appraised value of the property.

After that, the city and county anticipate a real estate purchase agreement, and that must be approved at a Casper City Council meeting.

The memorandum of understanding sets these requirements for Natrona County:

The county will pay for the survey, legal matters and appraisal.

The county will obtain the money and finish construction within eight years from the transfer of the property. If that doesn't happen, the property will revert to the city.

The county will build a site barrier fence along the north border of the property.

The Natrona County Commission must approve the memorandum and any subsequent real estate purchase agreement to take effect.

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