CHEYENNE — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has announce that the U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded the City of Kemmerer $138,950 in grant funding to support redevelopment and revitalization.
The grant will pay half the cost of developing a detailed economic diversification strategy and hiring an impact manager for a two-year period to implement the plan. It will help Kemmerer and Lincoln County prepare, strengthen, and diversify its economy in anticipation of the likely upcoming retirement of the Naughton #1 and #2 coal-fired power plants.
“Our focus is on the workers and communities that will be impacted by these announced closures,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “I’m glad to see that the community is taking a proactive role in charting its future.”
Kemmerer partnered with Rocky Mountain Power, the Wyoming Business Council, the South Lincoln Economic Development Corporation, the Lincoln County Economic Development Joint Powers Board and Lincoln County to provide the match for the grant.
“It’s crucial to have close partnerships with private industry, the county and the state as we move Kemmerer toward some really successful ventures,” said Mayor Anthony Tomassi. “We have a really good team.”
The diversification study will explore target industries, tourism opportunities and quality of life initiatives to identify specific tasks and achievable goals for Kemmerer to pursue. After the study is complete, Kemmerer will hire an impact manager to carry out the plan.
“The lack of such a position in the past has been one of the biggest reasons our past efforts did not make the progress toward economic diversification we had hoped for,” Tomassi said.
Kemmerer’s diversification strategy will focus on value-added markets and development for natural resources, manufacturing processes for value-added projects, training and apprenticeships, tourism and entrepreneurial development, and infrastructure improvement.