Board Chairman Says Land Buy's Legal

The chairman of Sheridan County Recreation District 1 said the attorney for Sheridan County School District 1 prepared the documents for purchase of land for a proposed Big Horn community center.

The recreation district borrowed $300,000 to buy the land, an action that has been challenged by some people who live in school district 1.

The recreation district will go before Sheridan County commissioners Tuesday to ask for a conditional use permit that will allow a community center to be built.

The school district appoints the members of the recreation district, and administers schools in Big Horn, Ranchester and Dayton. Two Big Horn residents and two from Ranchester say Wyoming statute doesn't allow appointed boards to incur debt.

The recreation district chairman says the board has sought legal opinion. Based on that, he says, he believes the board has done nothing wrong.

He said in addition to having an attorney prepare the paperwork for the land purchase, district board members also obtained a letter from another Sheridan attorney. He said that letter states there is nothing in state law that says the board could borrow money to buy the land, but nothing in state law says the board could not borrow the money. Aksamit says the issue is in a gray area.

The land is just south of the Big Horn Y, at the junction of highways 335 and 87.

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