The Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition Joint Powers Board had their monthly meeting in Sheridan Thursday night, and a number of citizens from both Sheridan and Johnson Counties showed up to voice their concerns and ask questions in response to a report earlier in the week that NERD Gas had apparently decided against the site for their proposed natural gas to gasoline plant.
Although not on the agenda, Board Chairman Dave Garber realized the throng was probably in attendance because of the NERD Gas announcement, and opened the floor to comments and questions.
He explained the situation from the board's standpoint.
Some atttending were against the proposed plant at the lake, saying the recreational value was worth more than industry, while others, including most of those from Johnson County, favored a multiple-use approach to the lake which could utilize industry, irrigation, agricultural and recreational uses. Speaking in favor of that approach were Dave Spencer with the Wyoming Business Council, Angela Jarvis representing the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce Board, and Johnson County Commissioners Smokey Wildeman and John Gibbs.
Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey applauded the board for making sure there was enough water there for everyone's use and for taking a multiple-use approach with the lake.
The Buffalo/Johnson County representatives asked the commission when the modeling would be complete, saying NERD had not fully given up on the Lake DeSmet site for their plant, but were merely checking other options, and wanting to know where the commission stands on the issue.
The board told them they were planning to have it completed by the end of December. The Lake DeSmet site for the NERD Gas facility may not be completely dead at this time.