A legislative solution to a dispute between the city of Cheyenne and Cheyenne Frontier Days has been proposed by a state senator.
The city and organizers of the 10-day rodeo are debating the use of Cheyenne Police officers as security during the rodeo in July.
City officials have said that unless Frontier Days agrees to cover the cost of the security, estimated at $100,000 to $200,000 per year, the permit that allows the sale of beer at the rodeo grounds will be withheld.
As a result, Sen. Glenn Moniz, R-Laramie, has proposed a bill that would let Frontier Days buy a special event malt beverage permit directly from the state for $100.
“We have no qualms with public protection, we think it’s critical to the public safety of Cheyenne Frontier Days as well as they do,” he said. “But holding up their malt beverage permit because of that is, in my opinion, extortion.”
But Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said many believe security should be paid for by Frontier Days, not with taxpayer dollars.
“And just from what we’ve seen on social media, the public really believes that this shouldn’t come out of taxpayer funds, that Cheyenne Frontier Days has the ability to pass along that cost to their attendees,” she said. “It’s a private event, it should be picked up privately.”
Orr said both sides in the dispute will meet to try reach a compromise.