GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Campbell County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 6 released about 32 acres of land at CAM-PLEX Park to the Campbell County Public Land Board.
The land will serve as a multi-use outdoor event flex space, under the quick-claim deed agreement that the commissioners approved in a 3-2 vote.
The agreement and maps are on pages 202 to 204 of the meeting agenda packet.
Under the agreement, the property must be used solely as a multi-use outdoor event flex space. Otherwise, the property reverts to the County. The County also reserves oil, gas, coal-bed methane gas and other minerals in and under the site. It retains the right to access the property to explore and remove those minerals.
Public Works Executive Director Matthew Olsen said at the meeting that the purpose of the deed is to provide the Public Land Board with a suitable location for the nighttime activities for the 2024 Camporee. He said he understands the Public Land Board and CAM-PLEX might also want to use the land for other concerts and outdoor festivals. The County is completing work to level out the site, plant more durable grasses, install turf, and remove cacti, he said.
“There will still be large portions that are kind of the native that people are accustomed to seeing out there, but there’s going to be a portion that’s going to have an irrigation and more of what you’d see at a park,” he said.
Campbell County Board of Commissioners Chairman Del Shelstad said at a previous meeting that he’d requested to postpone the decision so the county could identify possible landing points for a new museum project. Shelstad said the City of Gillette, Campbell County and the Campbell County Rockpile Museum want to find a new museum site that’s on CAM-PLEX property.
Commissioner Rusty Bell said a museum site at CAM-PLEX Park property would be an amenity and attraction that could draw people from RV shows and other events and give the visitors something to do.
“It seems to make a lot of sense,” he said.
Rockpile Museum Executive Director Robert Henning said the museum is looking for land to bolster fundraising to potentially get a new location. He said it’s his understanding that commissioners would like the museum to continue to work with the Campbell County Public Land Board in its master planning process to try to identify space.
“Nothing is imminent,” Henning said.
Henning has said multiple times in the past that the Rockpile Museum’s location, at 900 W. Second St. in Gillette, is cramped for space.
Commissioners Bob Maul and Don Hamm voted against the transfer.
Campbell County Public Land Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in the CAM-PLEX Board Room at CAM-PLEX, at 1635 Reata Drive in Gillette. According to the agenda, the meeting will include updates on the master plan and Camporee.
The Rockpile Museum Board of Directors’ next meeting is at 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at the museum. The board hasn’t posted that meeting’s agenda yet.