(Casper, Wyo.) – The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors reviewed Business Ready Community (BRC) grant requests at its board meeting last Thursday in Powell.  The board evaluated 12 applications totaling $1,802,892, the larges of which was a $1.4 million request from the City of Riverton.

The City’s application was to purchase land between Walmart and Honor Farm Road to provide additional commercial and housing opportunities for the city. The city’s request was recommended to be funded in full, and the recommendation was forwarded to the State Loan and Investment Board for final action.

The land is currently owned by the State of Wyoming Department of Corrections and is part of the Wyoming Honor Farm agriculture unit. The Wyoming Modeler’s Park is also located in that large parcel.

“The point is to get this property into private hands,” City Administrator Steven Weaver said at a city council meeting earlier this summer. “IDEA, Inc. is pushing it along so it will come to a public auction. We really don’t want it, we want to get it into private hands, but the city has to be involved to get the property into an auction.” IDEA Inc. is the city’s economic development organization.

Weaver said the city’s application includes a recapture agreement, in that the city will provide a 100 percent payback to the state after land is sold off if IDEA, Inc. is the winning bidder. IDEA, Inc. will only bid the land’s valuation amount, he said.

The Business Council’s directors of the Agribusiness and Business and Industry divisions and the Northwest Regional Office also reported on their recent work at the Powell meeting.

BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY GRANT APPLICATIONS

The board recommended the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) approve 12 applications totaling $1,802,892. Business Council staff reviews each application, conducts site visits or conference calls in the case of planning grants, and makes presentations to a board subcommittee before making the final recommendations to the full board.

The board’s recommendations will be presented to the SLIB at its Oct. 2 meeting held at 8 a.m. in room B-63 of the Herschler Building in Cheyenne.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: The Business Council administers the Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program, which provides financing for publicly owned infrastructure that serves the needs of businesses and promotes economic development within Wyoming communities. The Business Council board is required by statute to forward BRC grant recommendations to the SLIB for final approval. The SLIB is comprised of the five statewide elected officials: Gov. Matt Mead, Secretary of State Max Maxfield, State Treasurer Mark Gordon, State Auditor Cynthia Cloud, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.

BRC Community Readiness applications

  • Riverton requested a $1,445,217 Community Readiness grant for the purchase of land located north of Federal Boulevard between Webbwood and Honor Farm roads to be developed for future community growth.(Recommended to the SLIB in full)

BRC Planning applications

  • Albany County requested a $25,000 BRC Planning grant to study the feasibility of an Albany County Events Center. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Buffalo requested a $24,338 BRC Planning grant for a feasibility study related to the Eastern Corridor Technology Park. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Dubois requested a $25,000 BRC planning grant to study the feasibility of marketing Dubois as a destination for adventure and education-based tourism. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Guernsey requested a $22,500 BRC Planning grant to develop options and costs for Rollins Road from U.S. Highway 26 to the South Guernsey Highway (1.2 miles of gravel road). (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Kaycee-Buffalo-Johnson County Economic Development Joint Powers Board requested a $20,212 BRC Planning grant for a feasibility study related to the Eastern Corridor Industrial Park. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Laramie requested a $50,000 BRC Planning grant for a retail leakage analysis and strategic plan.(Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Laramie County requested a $25,000 BRC Planning grant to study the effects of fees and regulations linked to economic development and whether those are an impediment in Laramie County. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Platte County requested a $50,000 BRC Planning grant to develop an energy and transmission plan for southeast Wyoming. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Thayne requested a $46,875 BRC Planning grant to develop an economic and community development plan targeted at attracting technical industries such as data centers. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Upton, in cooperation with the Weston County Development Board (WCDB), requested an $18,750 BRC Planning grant to study the feasibility of a multi-purpose community facility in the city park. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)
  • Wheatland requested a $50,000 BRC Planning grant to address the 16th Street reconstruction project.(Recommended to the SLIB in full)

BRC Award Revision

Laramie County was previously awarded a $13 million grant from the Governor’s BRC Large Business Infrastructure Fund for the purchase and renovation of an existing 67,096 square-foot facility and construction of a new 108,000 square-foot manufacturing facility for the recruitment of Magpul Industries.

  • Laramie County requested a reduced award of an $8.3 million grant to acquire an existing building in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. (Recommended to the SLIB in full)

The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.

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