RMD hospital, CWC Equine Center first recipients of half percent sales tax funds

UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated the monetary amounts in the discussion were “requested,” when the amounts were actually what was “recommended.”

(Riverton, WY) – It was announced at the June 1st, Riverton City Council meeting that of the 7 applications which submitted to the EDGE Committee for its 1/2 percent sales tax funding initiative, 2 were accepted pending agreements from the businesses.

These two applicants, the Central Wyoming College Equine Facility, and the Riverton Medical District (RMD) hospital, each met the criteria necessary and were awarded economic development funds.

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The Equine Center was awarded $100,000 of the recommended $155,000, with the understanding that if they need more funds, they can re-apply the next year.

The RMD hospital had initially been recommended to receive $600,000 over two years, $300,000 each year, as a low-end estimate, but aimed for more if available, which the medical facility received in the amount of $880,000 for two years, or $440,000 for each year.

While there were some hesitations voiced by Council Member Mike Bailey about possibly awarding too much money of the sales tax funds too soon, and not having enough for other applicants down the line, the Council decided to go with a higher amount to ensure the hospital’s success.

The approval of the high-end funding was agreed upon by Council Member Kyle Larsen, and former Riverton Mayor John Vincent.

“This hospital is our opportunity. I can’t think of a greater benefit to Riverton than a full service medical facility,” stated Larsen.

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“The most important decision you will have to make in your career as Mayor and as Councilmen, is how to get this hospital built,” Former Mayor Vincent told the Council. “That’s the most important thing on your plate bar-none, and it’s on your plate now. You don’t have to catch it, you don’t have to cook it, you don’t have to do any of that. It’s on your plate, so you need to finish it.”

Former Riverton Mayor John Vincent addresses the Council. County 10 photo.

“If you spend this money now, you’re going to get a hospital, which is vitally important to our community.”

Mayor Richard Gard and the Council agreed, and the funding was approved in a unanimous vote.

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