Sweetwater County Projects Get Thumbs Up From WBC

Sweetwater County Projects Get Thumbs Up From WBC

TORRINGTON – The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended $9,792,914 in Business Ready Community (BRC) grants during Thursday’s quarterly meeting at the Lincoln Center in Torrington.

In all, eight BRC project requests were recommended to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) for approval.

The SLIB will make final decisions on BRC project requests at its 8 a.m. meeting on April 7 in Room 1699 of the Herschler Building in Cheyenne.

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The board on Thursday also received a county-wide economic development update from Goshen County Commissioner Wally Wolski, who serves as president of the Goshen County Economic Development Corp. Ann Nelson of the Wyoming Business Alliance Steering Committee provided an update on Tour 23.

In addition, the board elected 2016-17 officers and named two new members (see related media release issued today and posted at wyomingbusiness.org).

Complete board meeting materials can be seen here.

BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY GRANT APPLICATIONS

The Business Council administers the Business Ready Community grant and loan program. The program provides financing for publicly owned infrastructure that serves the needs of businesses and promotes economic development within Wyoming communities.

Business Council staff review each application, conduct site visits or conference calls in the case of BRC Planning grants, and make presentations to a board subcommittee before making final recommendations to the full board.

The Business Council board is required by statute to forward BRC grant and loan recommendations to the SLIB for final approval. The SLIB comprises the five statewide elected officials: the governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction.

Business Committed

Alpine requests a $2,873,798 Business Committed grant for the purchase of 3.6 acres of undeveloped land, construction of a 20,000 square-foot building to house a distillery, extend and upgrade an existing road to the property, and extend an 8-inch water main loop to improve fire suppression supply and system reliability. The project will create 30 jobs, make 8.3 acres available for future development in Alpine and improve access for the Melvin Brewing plant and Palisades Lake, a local recreation area. (Board recommends funding up to $1,500,000 for infrastructure limited to road, water and the purchase of 3.6 acres of undeveloped land)

Community Readiness

Sweetwater County requests a $2,480,769 Community Readiness grant to add infrastructure to the Sweetwater Events Complex (SEC) located northwest of downtown Rock Springs. The project will position the Sweetwater Events Complex to compete for large-scale equestrian events like the National High School Finals Rodeo, which produced an annual impact of $7,534,345 between 2012 and 2015. (Board recommends funding $2 million)

Kemmerer-Diamondville Water and Wastewater Joint Powers Board requests a $555,914 Community Readiness grant to design and construct a 2,890-foot, 18-inch redundant transmission line. The South Lincoln County Economic Development Board asserts the water line is critical to ensure uninterrupted water supply and to protect the stability of the businesses and communities of Kemmerer and Diamondville in general. (Board recommends funding in full)

Green River requests a $1,297,000 Community Readiness grant to replace a 50-year-old lift station with one able to meet future need. The area served by the lift station is to be marketed to business and industry as part of a reinvestment and targeted infill strategy. (Board recommends funding in full)

Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport JPB requests a $3 million Community Readiness grant to construct a new general aviation terminal and hangar at the Rock Springs/Sweetwater County Airport located to the east of Rock Springs just south of Interstate 80. Replacing the small, outdated facilities is key to attracting new business to the airport and providing support facilities. Airport officials anticipate the creation of seven jobs at a median wage of $19.46. (Board recommends funding in full)

Evanston requests a $3,000,000 Community Readiness grant to stabilize and partially rehabilitate the remaining three sections of the community’s historic railroad roundhouse building. The town intends to market the remaining sections for business development. (Board recommends reconsideration at September meeting)

Downtown Development

Guernsey requests a $750,000 Downtown Development grant.  The project will restore the Culver Hotel on North Wyoming Avenue, Guernsey’s main street. The project is expected to create seven jobs in the first three years and make two lots marketable for commercial purposes. (Board recommends funding in full)

Sheridan requests a $2,000,000 Downtown Development grant to renovate the Hallmark building (50 N. Main St.) located north of the WYO Theater (42 N. Main St.) and integrate it into the WYO Performing Arts and Education Center. The project is expected to expand downtown visits and business activity. (Board recommends reconsideration at September meeting)

Community Enhancement

Wright requests a $190,000 Community Enhancement grant to add infrastructure for RV camping spots and to construct 20 permanent horse stalls at the Southern Campbell County Agriculture Complex located on the western edge of Wright, just south of Highway 387. The improvements are designed to attract multi-day events capable of increasing sales, fuel and lodging tax revenues for the energy-dependent local economy. (Board recommends funding in full)

Superior requests a $500,000 Community Enhancement grant to renovate its only public building. Construction will provide the public gathering and recreational space, in addition to allowing the town to use the facility as an emergency shelter. (Board recommends funding in full contingent upon approval of Mineral Royalty grant funding)

Upton requests a $386,047 Community Enhancement grant to improve the city park infrastructure. The project is expected to improve quality of life and bolster business recruitment. (Board does not recommend funding)