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Medicine Bow residents warily optimistic about proposed DKRW plant

Sara Hossaini

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Most residents we spoke with seem to be excited about the opportunities DKRW could bring. Wyoming Public Radio's Sara Hossaini heard from some of them.

TONI GEORGE: My name is Toni George, owner of JB stop and shop in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. I’m very much for it.   

I think the infrastructure is there, they’ve redone the water lines. We have a 1.5 million water facility storage tank system.

We do have a lot of empty lots in town that happened in the last boom-bust.

TOBY SMITH: My name’s Toby Smith. I am on the city council. When uranium and coal mines were going we had well over a thousand people in town and it was ok.

SMITH: My concern—Them...getting everybody jacked up to do all this and then just say ‘bye’. Which could happen. Too many of the good things don’t happen that way.It’s not a Bosler yet. (others: --"Not yet." --“Working that way...”)

ROBERTA STEVENSON: My name’s Roberta Stevenson. And I think it would be a blessing. Maybe bring our town back from what it is, it’s dying.

BOB SMITH: My name’s Bob Smith. I’m not for it. I like the little town just like it is. Put something like that in, more people come in and the bad always comes with the good.

JENNIFER GARZA: Well my name is Jennifer Garza and I have lived here for 31 years from the time I was born until now. And I’ve loved living here. And I’m really looking forward to the DKRW coming in.

It’s a little scary, just with us not having a cop in town and stuff right now. Hopefully they get some law enforcement here. But I would like it to just come into town to give some more jobs for people around here.

GARZA: My husband works in road construction, so he’s hoping to be able to start work out here in the construction phase of it and then just move on into it once it gets finally all going. He travels all over the place for road construction—Denver is about the closest he does work. And it’s hard on your family when you have little kids and stuff.

RICHARD WISEMA: My name’s Richard Wiseman, I’ve been a Medicine Bow territory resident for about 4 years now. And I hope that it brings some stimulation to the growth of this town’s economy to where there will be some employment opportunities. And I hope that it don’t make too much of an environmental hazard for the community. Which it probably won’t, because the way that the wind usually blows out here it should blow the pollution away.

WAYNE JOHNSON: I’m Wayne Johnson, resident of Medicine Bow for about 22 years.

Even if they do have 2000 people, you gotta remember that there’s Elk Mountain which is gonna be even closer to the DKRW and Hanna. So some of the people are gonna move to these other towns. They’re not all gonna plant their butt right here in Med Bow. But anything helps, especially if it’s permanent. Temporary is temporary, you get a little bit of boom and then it’s over. Boom.

CHUCK MORGAN: My name’s Chuck Morgan. The whole town of medicine bow, I’d say 98 percent is for DKRW. Medicine Bow has always been the red-headed step child of Carbon County, lack of representation. So this is our big thing here, we’ve been waiting for it for 30-40 years, so of course we’re excited about it.

Since they moved that interstate, all these small little towns have been like 3rd world countries, and it’s been hard to survive. We got that coal—might as well utilize it.

Sara Hossaini is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She brings a blend of documentary journalism and public interest communications experience developed through her work as a nonprofit multimedia consultant and Associate Producer on national PBS documentary films through groups such as the Center for Asian American Media, Fenton Communications and The Working Group. She likes to travel, to get her hands in the dirt and to explore her creative side through music, crafts and dance.