The Campbell County Commission has approved the use of Little Powder Road for filming of "Street Outlaws," the Discovery Channel television show about illegal street racing, pending a legal review of numerous technicalities.
The process to bring "Street Outlaws" to Campbell County has been rapidly developing, Commissioner Rusty Bell said.
He received the first call about the show potentially coming to the county on Thursday, and by Saturday county officials were giving a tour of possible shooting locations to producers from the show.
The motion, which was approved by a 4-1 vote, was added to the agenda of a Monday meeting by Bell via email Saturday.
Commissioner Del Shelstad was the lone vote against the motion.
Shelstad said his vote was influenced by two factors: lack of law enforcement enthusiasm for the show coming to the county and a need to notify residents who would be affected.
He said he respects the work that law enforcement officials had to do and understands that the proposal put them in a difficult position to withhold support at a time the county could use the economic boost.
Campbell County Sheriff Scott Matheny said that his main concern is that the community be safe. He realized the show was a great opportunity for economic development in the county but that the underlying activity is not something he hopes to encourage in the community.
Sheriff Matheny restated the basic fact that "drag racing is illegal." He said that the motion was a preliminary step that required legalities be worked out after the fact but because the show's been filmed in Natrona County, it likely means that the legalities won't be an issue.
Overall, the sheriff did not sound negative to the show coming to town. "I grew up in Campbell County," Matheny said. "I want what's best for it."
"But we're sanctioning people to drive 170 to 180 mph on a county road," Shelstad said. "It's not a race track."
He worries about the message it would send to residents who want to race.
As for getting input from people who will be affected, Shelstad said he's always supported landowners' rights and somebody needed to speak up for them when a decision could affect their lives on their property.
"This is a five-week-long filming process that will take place in the middle of the night," Shelstad said.
Two of the weeks of shooting will be after school has started because the show's producers requested to start filming Aug. 10.
"I just felt like we needed to give them a voice in the process," he said.
The agreement to shoot in Campbell County is not a done deal, as Bell said the show is still considering other possible shooting locations both in and out of Wyoming.
Bell described the meeting as having input from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and Campbell County Fire Department.
“This can’t come at any cost to the community,” Bell said. “We’re not going to spend any tax dollars on this.”
Services provided by county officials, like the Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office or EMS, would be paid for by the show, Bell said.
If the show decides to film in the county, a production team will have to iron out specifics with those agencies, and Monday’s meeting did not delve too deeply into the specifics for any one organization.
The key for the County Commission was getting a motion approved in as timely a manner as possible since the show wants to make its decision by Friday, Bell said.
The two main concerns with the show’s filming in the county are noise and the possibility of negative influence, Bell said.
“It’s going to be loud,” Bell said.
Since the show finished filming in Casper, Bell said he’d been in touch with commissioners from Natrona County and they said noise complaints were common. They recommended widening the radius for notifying residents, and Bell said the commission took that advice to heart. The radius will be 3 miles.
The other concern, that by allowing the show to film here the county condones illegal street racing, was discussed and decided that it’s not likely to be significant.
“Just because the show might come here, the county is not in favor of people drag racing on county roads,” Bell said. “It’s important to make sure that it’s not condoned.”
Bell is excited about the possibility of the show in Campbell County. The show’s team, including the racers and film crew, could number as many as 100 people, Bell said.
“We want to show people our community,” he said. “It’s something little that we can do to have more people want to come here.”