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CASPER — With two votes early Tuesday evening, the city of Casper moved closer to the redevelopment it has long envisioned for the Old Yellowstone District.

The city approved a total of $261,000 for different projects: $36,000 for a retaining wall at the northeast corner of the district and $225,000 to purchase land that would allow the city to connect portions of David Street that dead end at Midwest Avenue and Collins Drive.

Money for the retaining wall, which is owned and was built by the WyoCentral Federal Credit Union, squeaked through the council with the minimum votes needed for approval.

Five members voted for the measure, two voted against it, and one abstained. One member was not present for the vote. Both of the members who voted against the money for the wall represent the Old Yellowstone District.

“It just really rubs me the wrong way. They could’ve figured out a way to pay for it without using tax money,” said Ward 1 Councilman Kim Holloway, who voted no. “Even though it’s federal tax money, they could’ve paid for it themselves.”

The credit union’s CEO, in attendance for the vote, thanked the council shortly after the money was approved.

Ward 3 Councilman Paul Bertoglio used the purchase and eventual development of David Street as justification for spending money on the credit union’s wall.

Anyone heading south into the Old Yellowstone District on David Street will see the new wall, he argued, and the beautification made the project worthy of federal development money.

Moments after voting on the wall, the council approved money for the stretch of parking lot that will allow the city to connect portions of David Street. That purchase has been budgeted for years, according to a city memo.

Contact Pete Nickeas at pete.nickeas@trib.com or 307-266-0639.

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