Summer motorcycle rally proposed for Lovell Rodeo Grounds

David Peck

A proposal and request for support of a motorcycle rodeo in North Big Horn County greeted the Lovell Town Council as the council opened their February 13 meeting at town hall.

Tom “Buck” Klindt of Cowley, speaking on behalf of the Iron Cowboys Riding Club, is hoping to stage the Lovell Iron Cowboy Days, which he said could be “Wyoming’s own answer to Sturgis of Red Lodge.”

Klindt presented to the council a proposal presenting what he called a “detailed outline” of the event he hopes to stage at the Lovell Rodeo Grounds on July 27, which he said is a perfect free weekend between the rallies in Red Lodge and Sturgis.

Lovell rests at a crossroads for visitors traveling to Cody, Yellowstone and the Beartooth Highway, “including thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts,” he said, and the routes over the Big Horn Mountains, plus the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, make for a spectacular destination for riders, he added. He said the community can be “Base Camp Lovell.”

Iron Cowboy Days would be an event “where the old west meets the new,” Klindt said, noting that many motorcyclists consider themselves to be modern cowboys.

Klindt said a motorcycle rodeo could draw 500 people to the area in its first year and more than double that number in year two. He said he simply wanted to present the idea to the council to see if the council members believe the idea has merit.

Mayor Tom Newman said he likes any idea that brings money to the community from outside and urged Klindt to check with the Western Sports Arena Board, which governs the rodeo  grounds, and Klindt was given the phone number for board president Wayne Brost.

Town administrator Jed Nebel said this week that the rodeo grounds are already booked for July 27.

Under regular business, the council passed on second reading Ordinance 1009, which would establish a $1 base rate for most residential water customers on top of the base established by the Shoshone Municipal Pipeline and increase the usage rate by $1.50 per 1,000 gallons. The ordinance has one more reading before final passage.

Park project

Nebel reported that planning is well underway for Phase 2 of the Constitution Park Project, explaining that the project is in the pre-construction “design and contracts” stage, with Midway Construction and Dirt Work having earlier been awarded the bid for the project.

The project is being done at the newly renamed Armory Park, but the project documents are in the name Constitution Park, the former name of the park, which was the name when the project was planned, Nebel said.

The base project is multifaceted and includes an outdoor amphitheater, walking path, benches and renovation of the baseball/softball field in the park.

The council voted to allow the mayor and administrator to sign documents during the project as long as they are within the scope of the project.

Under what could be called internal town business, the council voted to approve a new set of job descriptions for town employees and a “pay and performance policy” for employees. Nebel said the town’s legal counsel is working on an addendum to the policy, which will be reviewed twice annually. The council voted to approve the policy if the legal counsel agrees.

Open burning

Town clerk/treasurer Colleen Tippetts presented the annual setback waiver from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for spring and fall open burning. The council voted to approve the recommended dates of March 1 through May 31 for spring burning and September 1 through November 30 for fall burning, along with a spring cleanup period of April 15 through May 31. The council voted to approve the dates.

In other action February 13:

• Nebel reported that the town’s legal counsel is reviewing a proposed memorandum of understanding with Big Horn County regarding septic systems in town.

• Nebel told the council that TCT was interested in renting the southwest corner of the Town of Lovell lot at the corner of Oregon Avenue and Fifth Street this spring and summer for material and equipment storage during a fiber optics installation project. TCT proposed $3,000 for the first six months – March 1 through September 1 -- and $500 per month after that until the end of the project. After a discussion and questions, the council voted to enter into a lease agreement with TCT pending approval by legal counsel.

• The council voted to approve a new operation and maintenance agreement with the Foster Gulch Golf Association for the golf course from January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2029, with an amendment, in order to line up dates for the agreement with liquor license renewal dates through the State of Wyoming.

• Nebel informed the council about a public meeting on area outdoor recreation set for Thursday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at the Lovell Community Center. He said the invitees could include various grassroots groups interested in promoting mountain biking and other activities, along with agencies such as the Park Service, BLM, Forest Service and the Wyoming Trails Program.