GREEN RIVER– On Tuesday night, the Green River City Council unanimously approved to submit an application to have the Wyoming National Guard construct improvements to the Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport runway as part of a military training program.
Through the Innovative Readiness Training Civilian-Military Partnership Program, the Wyoming National Guard seeks out real life training opportunities that will benefit local communities.
Members of the Airport Advisory Board, the City of Green River Engineering department, and the Mayor’s office identified the runway as an opportunity that would benefit both the National Guard and the community.
If authorized by the military, the training will be conducted for two weeks in August 2020. According to Mark Westenskow, Green River Public Works Director, the training would be completed before Spaceport Days.
Westenskow said during their work, the National Guard would more appropriately grate and size the runway, which would make it more viable for users.
Councilman Gary Killpack asked how much of a cost this would be for the city. He said the Spaceport is not very popular among residents so he was concerned about the fiscal impact.
Westenskow said the city budgeted $10,000 for projects last year, but ended up getting a grant. They only had to spend $1,000 of city funds, so this program would fall under the remaining $9,000.
Westenskow also pointed out that though the Spaceport is not used by a large group of people, it does have its users.
Councilwoman Lisa Maes expressed her support for the program, saying that it would benefit the community.
“I think this is a really great opportunity and it’s a benefit, as that is an emergency air strip,” Maes said. “It does get used, and it might be used even more if you get the runway the way it should be.”
Mayor Pete Rust pointed out that this program is used as a recruiting activity by the military, as they are in the communities doing projects that residents can actually see and benefit from.
Rust also said that the program has an economic benefit, as it will be bringing dozens of people into the community and they will be spending money.