New Town Clerk in Hanna

 

Mike Armstrong

Former Hanna town clerk, Vivian Gonzalez, left, and new town clerk, Ann Calvert.

The town of Hanna has a new town clerk but her face is recognized by many. For years new clerk Ann Calvert has helped customers at the Hanna Branch of the Rawlins National Bank.

Vivian Gonzales, who was the town clerk for eight years, is now the Hanna Recreational Center Director.

Calvert said, "I have some big shoes to fill. Huge."

According to Calvert the town looks up to Gonzales for her knowledge on countless issues. She said, "I never realized until I started training, all the ins and outs Vivian knew. You don't realize it until you are in it. She doesn't just come do her job, she knows the job."

Calvert said she aspires to be as competent as Gonzales has been.

The new town clerk has lived in Hanna most of her life except for a brief time after graduating when she moved to Phoenix, Arizona.

"I was meant to come back." Calvert explained, "I'm a local girl."

Calvert took a job at a Hanna bank now long gone, then went to Rawlins National Bank where she was employed for 20 years.

"The bank was great, it was an excellent place to work," said Calvert.

She left the bank because she felt there was opportunity to learn more. The involvement of going over budgets and crunching numbers has strong appeal for the new clerk.

Working three years as a part-time secretary and bookkeeper to the Landfill Board, Calvert became interested in municipal operations.

"Being involved with the closing of the landfill and working with the Department of Environmental Quality, when the town clerk job came up, I really wanted to apply," she said.

Calvert likes understanding where the funds come from for allocation and looks forward to all the rigorous mathematics. She also looks forward to interacting with the public.

"I certainly got to know a lot of people who banked at Rawlins National Bank, but not everyone in town uses the bank, but everyone uses water and has to come here to pay," Calvert said.

She would like to see Hanna get more businesses.

"Hanna is a good little community. I truly love Hanna," Calvert said. "I have had my opportunities to leave, but I want to see Hanna thrive again in a good way."

She does see tourism as a viable way to bring more people in the town because of the vast history with the coal mining and railroad.

"We are also the gateway town to the Miracle Mile where fishing is considered some of the best on the Platte river," said Calvert. "Kortes Dam is right there."

Kortes Dam, named for the nearby Kortes Ranch, is located in the Black Canyon of the North Platte, about two miles downstream from Seminoe Dam. The project was finished in 1951. The concrete dam, 244 feet high, holds about 4,700 acre-feet of water, less than Seminoe Dam not far away and has a generating capacity of 36,000 kilowatts. Downstream is the Miracle Mile, a stretch of river known for its excellent trout habitat. Water is released from Kortes to maintain sufficient flows to sustain this trout fishing.


Seminoe and Kortes dams were both constructed primarily for hydropower. Because of their remote locations, neither body of water attracts as much tourism as Pathfinder Reservior or Alcova Reservior which are downstream to the north.

Calvert would like to see that change. She pointed out Hanna has a road that leads to a Seminoe Reservoir boat ramp where there are no fees, unlike the ramp that is near Sinclair and Rawlins.

She said there are 30 RV parking spots and tourists have a place to camp near the seldom-used ramp. Nearby hotels in Elk Mountain and Medicine Bow allow tourists not camping to be near Hanna and use its services and resources.

Calvert sees the Hanna Recreation Center as place that can pull in more people. Gonzales, the new director for the Recreation Center, standing nearby agreed with Calvert.

"It has so much to offer at the center and the olympic size pool is outstanding," Calvert said. "A visitor can use facilities for four dollars."

Calvert knows the job is one part promoter of town, one part administrator and one part budgetary analyst.

"I am excited to be a part of Hanna in way I haven't been before," concluded Calvert.

 

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