Town of Bear River turns 20

Folks line up for a hot meal outside the Bear River Town Hall on Thursday, Aug. 12. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

BEAR RIVER — The town of Bear River celebrated the 20th anniversary of its incorporation on Thursday, Aug. 12. Food, games, and face painting were provided at the town hall and park.  One hundred and twenty adults and children attended throughout the evening. A bountiful meal was provided by Dang Good Smokehouse & BBQ with cake served by city employees and council members.

“The best thing we residents of Bear River ever did was become incorporated as a town,” Mayor Brian Stokes said. “We were then eligible for federal and state money to put in our own sewer and water systems and purchase road maintenance equipment. We didn’t have to depend on the county services.”

Stokes provided a tour of the town hall and offices which he said has an emergency generator.  Bear River City Council meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month and are live and taped. Current council members are Margaret Huggins who has served for 11 years; Vernon Condie, Todd Jones, and Lance Norris.  Barb Couture has served as the town clerk and treasurer for 14 years.

Bear River currently has a population of approximately 520 citizens. Stokes was one of the first residents in the area and has been the town’s mayor for one year and had been on the town council since 2001, except for two years, when he took some time off from civic duties. 

“I have lived in Bear River for 30 years and I like it being incorporated as a town. We get lots of benefits from the state,” Condie said. “Wyoming legislators were very helpful to us when we wanted to incorporate as the state had been losing population and was experiencing a lack of growth.  So they were pleased to see a new town become incorporated as that was a symbol of growth.”

It appears that Bear River is still growing; Stokes said they are now hoping to get permission from the county planning and zoning to build a subdivision north of the park and they eventually hope to get some rental apartments.

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