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CAM-PLEX to start holding monthly Camporee informational meetings

The board also approved a 2023-2024 budget and a landscaping bid.

GILLETTE, Wyo. — CAM-PLEX will start hosting meetings at 1:30 p.m. every second Monday of the month to keep people posted on preparations for Camporee, Executive Director Aaron Lyles announced at tonight’s public land board meeting.

Camporee, which will take place Aug. 5 to 11, 2024, is an international religious festival put on by the Seventh Day Adventist Church that plans on bringing 55,000 people to the community of Gillette. The event, which takes place once every five years, is comprised largely of minors. It will be closed to the public as attendees camp out at the CAM-PLEX. This is the first time Gillette’s hosting the event, after it moved from Oshkosh, Wisc. Event organizers have asked CAM-PLEX to make many preparations, including providing a space for Pathfinder Camporee’s portable amphitheater. So far, 9,614 people have purchased tickets for Camporee, according to the event’s sales reports. Nearly all are from North America.

Lyles said that these will be meetings of stakeholders, like Camporee governmental, staff, interest groups and other stakeholders. These aren’t public forums, yet they are open meetings. It’s a method for everyone to have more, better communication, which he’s seeking to have regarding CAM-PLEX operations.

Other updates at the meeting included the following:

Landscaping bid

The board unanimously approved a $446,580 proposal, pending final review, from G & G Landscaping for irrigation of fields for Camporee. Lyles said after the meeting that the single largest line item difference from G & G Landscaping’s original proposal is that there will need to be 400 more feet of pipe laid underground to achieve what ended up being the location for the pivot. The other contractors proposed solutions, which didn’t involve a pivot, that would cost between $1 million and $1.5 million, he said.

Budget

The board approved a budget that CAM-PLEX staff proposed for fiscal year 2023-2024. The net, overall increase for the budget is about 2%, which includes a cost of living increase and a merit increase for staff. The budget also calls for an increase in staff count. Campbell County commissioners had said in their budget message that they wanted departments and other entities applying for funding to hold the line.

“We’re trying to focus on our human talent in this budget cycle,” Lyles said.

Lyles said the budget proposal has been sent on to funding bodies so the vote was a formality. While board members typically have an opportunity to approve the budget before the funding bodies receive it, this year the meeting schedules didn’t allow for that.

Lyles said he wasn’t sure what the procedure would have been if the board hadn’t approved the budget April 13, but the board had worked with staff over the past few months through four meetings to develop the proposal. The board worked out all the budgetary details at the last board meeting. It had to wait to vote on the decision until the April 13 meeting, when the matter could formally be on the agenda.

National High School Rodeo update

Only about 25 spots remain for booths at National High School Finals Rodeo, and staff anticipates that, like always, the spots will sell out, Lyles said.

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