Wyoming Business Council recommends $12 Million in grants
Over $12 million in grant funding recommended for approval/approved during Business Council meeting
by Wyoming Business Council
September 20, 2007
(Cheyenne) – The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors met on September 13th in Gillette to offer their recommendations and decisions on over $12 million worth of Business Ready Community Grants, Community Facility Grants and Community Development Block Grants.
Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program (BRC):
The board recommended for approval four Business Ready Community Grants worth $7.1 million. The board’s recommendations of BRC applications are forwarded to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) for final decision at their Oct. 4 meeting in Cheyenne. That meeting will be held at 8 a.m. in room 1699 of the Herschler Building. SLIB is made up of the five statewide elected officials, Gov. Dave Freudenthal, Secretary of State Max Maxfield, State Treasurer Joe Meyer, State Auditor Rita Meyer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride.
The board recommended for approval the following Business Ready Community Grants:
• Carbon County was recommended for a Business Committed grant of $1,912,500 to reconstruct 13.2 miles of County Roads No. 1 and 3 to industrial standards. This would access the site of the proposed DKRW Medicine Bow Fuel & Power LLC’s coal-to-liquids plant. The goal of the project is to get the road work done in advance of construction of its $2 billion facility. The facility will require a construction crew of 2,000 and long-term employment will be 300. The facility will be the first that converts coal and other hydrocarbons into liquid fuels and other energy products.
• The Northern Arapaho Tribe, in partnership with the Community Development Organization, Wind River Development Fund, was recommended for a Business Committed grant in the amount of $1,278,000 to purchase and renovate a 17,000 square foot building located in Riverton. The building will be owned by the community development organization, Wind River Development Fund (WRDF) and leased to Wind River Healthcare Systems, Inc, (WRHS) a start-up community healthcare center. The primary goals of the project are to create 26 full time equivalent health service jobs over a three year period, and increase the availability of comprehensive health services.
• Albany County was recommended for a $3,000,000 Business Committed grant to construct roads for the Pete Lien & Sons, Inc. quarry and lime plant to be located nine miles north of Laramie on US30/Highway 287. Approximately four miles of the road will be a paved, public access road. One and a half miles of the road will be a crushed gravel access road. A plant operations (haul) road to the quarry will be 3.75 miles in length and will be leased to the business for its exclusive use. The primary goals of the project are to diversify Albany County’s economy, increase the tax base, and add 29 well paying jobs over a three year period.
• Teton County, in partnership with the community development organization Imagine Jackson, was recommended for a Business Committed grant of $1,000,000 to construct a 4,000 square foot building to be owned by Imagine Jackson and leased to Square One Systems Design, a high-tech research and development firm. The building will be constructed in Lot #1 of the South Park Service Center located a few miles south of Jackson. The site is currently owned by Imagine Jackson after having been purchased by the town of Jackson, in partnership with Imagine Jackson, using Business Committed grant funds in June 2006. The new building will be two stories and will include space for prototype development, offices, conference room and two small studio apartments. The facility will have conference space to be used by Square One.
Community Facilities Grant and Loan Program (CFP)
The board recommended for approval four Community Facilities grants, totaling $5,541,428. The board’s recommendations of Community Facilities applications are forwarded to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) for final decision at their Oct. 4 meeting in Cheyenne. That meeting will be held at 8 a.m. in room 1699 of the Herschler Building.
The board recommended for approval the following Community Facilities Grant and Loan Program:
• The city of Cheyenne was recommended for a $1,451,269 CFP grant for renovation and remodeling of a vacant city-owned facility at 1317 Parsley Blvd. Grant funds would be used for design, asbestos abatement, renovation of the structure and some site work including roads and paving into the facility. Once complete, the building will serve as a youth center focusing on Cheyenne’s Latchkey program, summer recreation program and teen center. The community will also have the opportunity to use the facility for meeting and training space.
• The town of Dayton was recommended for a . The structure will be utilized by the town in conjunction with the nonprofit, Tongue River Valley Community Center (TRVCC) once it is renovated. The space will be used for civic, cultural and social events; recreation; local business development; workforce training; conferences; small conventions; outreach college classes; sports activities; community gatherings and senior citizen meeting place.
• The town of Hulett was recommended for a $1,475,158 CFP grant to renovate the former Hulett Elementary School into community space. Once renovated the spaces would be used for a public library, senior center, kitchen (shared use by seniors and community), general meeting space, offices for the Hulett Area Chamber of Commerce and Hulett Area Economic Development Corporation (HAEDC), town administration and a gymnasium for recreation and school use.
• The town of Medicine Bow was recommended for a $1,115,001 CFP grant for renovation efforts to bring their Community Hall back into use. Once renovated, the facility will serve the youth and adults from the towns of Medicine Bow, Elk Mountain and Hanna with events such as community meetings, election polling center, kid’s movie night, Scouts meetings, dances and recreation events.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
The board approved five Community Development Block Grants worth $537,948 at the meeting. The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) is a federally funded pass through grant program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Wyoming has received an annual allocation from a low of $2.2 million, to a high of $3.7 million. The allocation for 2007 is $3,245,104. SLIB approval is not required for CDBG grants.
The board approved the following CDBG applications:
• The city of Riverton was approved for a $282,948 CDBG infrastructure grant. This award will pay for engineering and design work necessary to lay the sewer line, as well as its actual construction. An 8-inch gravity sewer main will be laid, extending the existing line that follows Honor Farm Road across Highway 26 to the site of the expanded facility located at 10749 N. Highway 789, that IDEA, Inc. will lease to R&R Rig Services, LLC.
• The town of Upton was approved for a $200,000 CDBG downtown development grant. The CDBG funds will be partnered with federal and state highway funds, as well as town funds and in kind contributions, to upgrade the downtown roadway, sidewalks, curbs and gutters. CDBG funds will be used exclusively to bring the sidewalks on Main Street into Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
• Johnson County was approved for a $25,000 CDBG planning only grant. An Economic Development District, comprised of the coal bed methane impacted counties of Big Horn, Johnson, Sheridan and Washakie, makes federal funding available to help mitigate the negative consequences of this growth. To do so their Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) plan must be updated. The CDBG funds will be used to help pay the cost of revising the plan.
• Niobrara County was approved for a $25,000 CDBG planning only grant. Funds will be used to hire a consultant primarily to develop a long term (5, 10 and 15 year) financial plan that is based on the level of health care services that can be reasonably sustained.
• The town of Riverside was approved for a $25,000 CDBG planning only grant. The funds will be used to hire a consultant to update the town’s comprehensive plan. Deliverables include: development of a GIS map, updated town zoning and ordinances, a site survey for slum and blight and the feasibility of extending current water and sewer lines to undeveloped areas.
To see staff’s recommendations on grants to the Business Council Board:
Community Development Block Grant: http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/pdf/irc/CDBG_Board_Report_6-1-06.pdf
Business Ready Community Grants and Loans: http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/pdf/irc/Final_BRC_Staff_Recs_SLIB0907.pdf
Community Facilities Grant and Loan Program: http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/pdf/irc/CFP_Staff_Rec_for_9-13-07_WBC_Board_FINAL.pdf
The mission of the Wyoming Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.wyomingbusiness.org.
For more information contact:
Rachel Girt, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
Wyoming Business Council