RAWLINS – City officials and developers are once again looking to develop Tin Can Hill, a former landfill and now an uninhabited storm water runoff area directly south of the Carbon County Detention Center.
What the city has considered an “eyesore” for some time, officials last week discussed during a work session the possibility of beautifying the city-owned area by adding two recreational fishing ponds.
According to Scott Hannum, Rawlins city manager, a deal has also been finalized financially with a private developer and owner of an adjacent property to add to the section a new, large apartment complex.
Records reveal that the private developer and land owner of 1171 E. Cedar St. is Rod Taylor of All in 1 Construction LLC.
Although this deal has been in the works for some time, Hannum did not reveal any exact figures, saying the city is currently “negotiating with the developer.”
Being the city will excavate more than 20 feet of dirt to develop the ponds, Hannum noted the “cost savings” attached with reusing the dirt for grading and flood plain adjustments.
Hannum said that the city still awaits certain specs and drawings. He also noted that the developer plans on erecting the complex next spring.
As for developing fully-stocked fishing ponds, being the low-lying section absorbs plenty of runoff, it makes for an ideal location for a pond, said Hannum.
“All that water that collects in that basin is one hundred percent storm runoff,” Hannum said. “In the springtime, it’s full.”
This isn’t the first time, however, the possibility of a fishing pond has been addressed.
In 1975, in fact, Hannum said the idea first sparked when Spruce Street was being developed. During that time, a Wyoming Department of Transportation surveyor recognized the runoff area as being a “potential recreational opportunity for the city of Rawlins in the future.”
Despite initial talks, Rawlins did eventually provide the recreational opportunity, but it was in a different location.
At one point, the city did incorporate a small fishing pond on the south side, which was filled with water that was being discharged from tanks near Rawlins Hill. Once the city stopped discharging those tanks, however, the fishing pond dried out.
About four years ago, said Hannum, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department proposed to the city that they bring the idea back to light. So far, the city has already received for the project $220,000 in Game and Fish grants and funds.
Meanwhile, Hannum noted that the city itself has $175,000 reserved from their master plan devised some years back for the potential ponds.
Despite showing enthusiasm for the development, some city council members were skeptical about potential maintenance costs.
“My problem is, when I was the mayor, (people) said the same thing about the golf course to me,” said DeBari Martinez, Ward I representative.
Although Hannum did not provide potential maintenance costs, he said that that information will be produced during future meetings once designs and other logistical information are finalized.
Hannum was, however, confident that the fishing ponds would spruce up the scenery along Cedar Street, which, he noted, is the main thoroughfare through town.
“I think the community’s going to be happy with this,” said Hannum.