ROCK SPRINGS — The long envisioned restoration of a downtown Rock Springs landmark is one step closer to moving forward.
The City of Rock Springs was awarded a Business Ready Community Grant through the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) during the WBC Board of Directors meeting on November 5. The $2,917,701 WBC grant comes with $250,000 cash and $74,189 in-kind matches in local funding.
That total amount, just north of $3.2 million, will fund the first phase of the rehabilitation project. Phase I aims to save the long vacant and neglected property from deterioration to allow for future development.
The grant application outlines five goals for the first phase of the project: improve existing infrastructure, secure and safeguard from weather and other hazards, install new roof and mechanism to divert water run-of, prepare for utility and services connectivity, and begin ADA compliance and prepare for fire exits.
The grant award includes revenue recapture stipulations to repay 25% of awarded grant funds with possible revenue generation. The city would repay up to the whole grant amount as well as local matches through a future sale of the building. “Following completion of Phase I, the City and Main Street/URA will begin seeking to partner with a private developer(s) to complete the project. The ultimate goal of the project is to sell the building to a private developer at market value,” a statement from the Main Street/URA said.
“Monumental for the City”
“This project is monumental for the city,” the grant proposal says. “Rock Springs has sent its fair share of buildings and heritage to the landfill. This project would allow the city and the Main Street/URA to further their downtown redevelopment goals while preserving a key piece of their history.” The Main Street/URA will be the project manager for all phases.
“I’m very proud of our team who worked to get this on track again. The City Council, Chad Banks and the Main Street/URA staff, Matt McBurnett and his staff, Paul Kauchich and Lisa Mueller,” Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo said. “We thank the Wyoming Business Council for their support and confidence in Rock Springs and for their leadership in improving Wyoming communities. This is truly a great day for Rock Springs.”
The grant proposal for the project included thirty letters of support from residents, local businesses, elected officials and non-profit organizations.
“I look forward to seeing the First Security Bank building with lights on once again, warm and inviting to our citizens. It’s always great when we can save a piece of our city’s history and it should always be our goal to have the vision to do so,” Kaumo said.
“The last step in the grant process is the meeting of the State Land and Investment Board (SLIB) scheduled in January when the final vote will take place,” the Main Street/URA said.