A new apartment complex is moving forward in Mills. Nebraska-based Cornerstone Associates has plans to build a 66-unit apartment building in a vacant lot behind the Maverik gas station on Yellowstone Highway.
The Town of Mills Planning and Zoning Board recommended the Town Council approve the site plan, and Mayor Seth Coleman called the development a “welcome addition” to the community.
“Housing in this area is at a premium,” Coleman said. “The more of it we have the better.”
The project is still in the “pre-development” phase, according to a spokesperson for Cornerstone Associates. The 66 units will be spread across two buildings, with 12 one-bedroom units, 21 two-bedroom units, 30 three-bedroom units and thee four-bedroom units.
The units will be mixed-rate, so tenants with varying income levels will be able to access the new housing option. Some units will be partially subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mills planner Scott Radden told the Town Council during an Aug. 13 work session that the company “wants to get started yesterday” on the project, but there are still some details to iron out before the company can break ground on the development.
He did say the project should be finalized soon and construction should start this year.
Cornerstone Associates has worked in the area in the past. In 2010, the company opened the 36-unit Cornerstone Apartments complex in Casper.
In other Town Council news, Mills residents could have a new public park as early as next summer, after the town received a grant to purchase new playground equipment for the project.
In 2017, roughly 4 acres of land along Robertson Road in Mills was donated to the town and set aside for a new neighborhood park, to be named Robertson Hills Park. The currently vacant acreage sits adjacent to a residential neighborhood.
The plans for the park include new playground equipment, a picnic and gazebo area, walking and bike trails and large green spaces. Future goals for the park include some kind of water element, such as a pond, and athletic courts.
The town received a private matching grant from playground equipment company Burke Equipment to fund both this project and new playground equipment for First Street Park along the Platte River. Mills and Burke both contributed $100,000.
Mills budgeted its half using consensus money — funds distributed to counties by the state and then dispersed among the municipalities within the county.
Both parks are part of a comprehensive parks master plan, which takes a 10-year view of Mills’ public parks. That plan has been broken down into phases. The new playground equipment is part of phase one.
The town also hopes to have its library reopened before the end of the year. Earlier this year, Mills ended its relationship with the Natrona County Library system over cost disagreements. The library has been closed since March, but the town has committed to reopening the branch, Coleman said.
After the library closed, the town began soliciting donations from residents and so far have received more than 1,000 book donations, he said. He hopes to have the library operational by October.
The council also plans to change its meeting times from the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month to the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Work sessions will be held the hour before normal meetings, except for the council’s larger monthly work session, which will be the Monday morning before the first Tuesday of the month.