In a boom town gone bust, a recreation center becomes a burden

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2024-05-12 17:30:06

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At the recreation center in Hanna, Wyoming, Jon Ostling is giving a tour of an empty swimming pool. There’s no water — just a slide that leads to hard concrete. The white paint on the side of the pool is chipping away. 

“Right now, we’re scraping to get ready to paint it,” Ostling says. “Even though we may not use it, it’s not necessary for us to make it look in disrepair. So our intent is always to make the facility look as good as it can.” 

Ostling is the mayor of Hanna, a town of about 700 on the remote high plains. The closest city — if you can call it that — is 70 miles away. Hanna is struggling to keep this recreation center open, but it’s huge and expensive. 

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