Wyoming Business Council grant requests approved
Business Ready Community and Community Development Block grants
by Wyoming Business Council
December 6, 2007
(Cheyenne) – The Wyoming Business Council’s Board of Directors met today in Cheyenne to consider funding applications for Business Ready Community grants and Community Development Block Grants.
In all, the board considered grant applications, totaling $11 million, from Laramie, Douglas, Lusk, Natrona County, Tiger Joint Powers Board in Lander, Cowley, Green River, Albany County, Hot Springs County, Pine Haven, Powell, Uinta County, Torrington, Burlington, Superior, Goshen County, Johnson County, Evanston and Chugwater.
BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY GRANT & LOAN PROGRAM (BRC) APPLICATIONS
Seven Business Ready Community grants worth $8.9 million went before the board today. Six grants worth $4,451,000 will be forwarded to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) with a recommendation to fund from the WBC Board. All seven grant applications will go before SLIB for final decision at their Jan. 24, 2008 meeting at the Herschler Building in Cheyenne. 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 gave a positive recommendation to the following Business Ready Community Grant and Loan projects:
LARAMIE: The city of Laramie is recommended for a $1.5 million BRC Business Committed grant to construct an 8,000-square foot office building in the Laramie River Business Park to facilitate the expansion of Trihydro Corp. Trihydro intends to purchase a 1.67-acre lot in the business park adjacent to the company’s existing facility from the Laramie Economic Development Corporation. The lot will then be conveyed to the city. About 10,000 feet of the building will be partially occupied by Trihydro.
LUSK: The town of Lusk was recommended for a $1.5 million BRC Community Readiness grant for the purchase of a 38.7-acre tract of land and installation of infrastructure for a new business park. The grant funds will also be used for the construction of internal streets, connections to sewerlines, waterlines, and electrical hook-ups. These infrastructure improvements will develop about half of the 38.7 acres, and the new infrastructure will stub into the back half of the property making that land easily developable in the future for additional business space or a residential neighborhood.
NATRONA COUNTY: Natrona County was recommended for a $1.5 million BRC Community Readiness grant to construct an 8,000+ long rail spur off the mail line of Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The county-owned spur will be located on 700 acres of privately-owned land adjacent to the Natrona County International Airport. The rail spur will be on the right-of-way donated to the county by the Bishop Industrial Park, LLC.
TIGER JPB IN LANDER: Tiger Joint Powers Board was recommended for a $451,140 BRC Community Readiness grant for infrastructure. This grant will complete the second phase of the business park by paving 1,000 linear feet of 12th Street and Vocational Drive.
COWLEY: The town of Cowley is recommended for a $300,000 grant for proposed main street enhancements (ornamental lighting, decorative benches, landscaping) funded by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the town.
GREEN RIVER: The town of Green River is recommended for a $200,000 BRC Community Enhancement grant for the construction of a Green River Visitors Center. The city will own the facility and lease it to the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber will occupy a portion of the building and use the balance for tourist information. The building will be 1,766 square feet. The Chamber is currently located in a downtown storefront. The new location will place the Chamber near the Toll Gate, Palisades rock formations and across the street from the Wild Horse Loop Tour.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) APPLICATIONS
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. In 2007, the state received $3.2 million.
The CDBG program is broken up into two categories: Economic Development and Community Development. The Economic Development CDBG’s help communities and counties with downtown projects, infrastructure projects and civic planning such as feasibility studies or growth management plans. Community Development CDBG’s are distributed once a year and go towards helping communities pay for new facilities like safehouses, senior centers and infrastructure. This year there is $1.06 million in the Economic Development CDBG account and $1.25 million in the Community Development CDBG Fund.
In all, 13 grants worth a total of 1,572,433 were awarded today.
The Community Development CDBG requests which were approved are:
TORRINGTON: The city of Torrington received a $300,000 grant for the Olive Acres sewer replacement project. The project will replace existing clay sewer pipes in one of the oldest sections of Torrington. The system is over 40 years old and is crumbling and leaking. Leakage is a major problem since it flows into the same groundwater aquifer system that supplies drinking water to the city. New, eight-inch PVC pipe will replace the crumbling leaking clay pipes in accordance with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality rules and regulations.
BURLINGTON: The town of Burlington received a $176,000 grant to address water projects. The biggest includes installation of a 150,000-gallon water tank to increase water storage as well as update the water well by adding meter reading technology at the pump house master meter. According to a 2007 report, the present water storage volume is approximately 150,000 gallons short of the recommended volume to meet the fire flow demand generated largely by the town’s school.
SUPERIOR: The town of Superior received a $131,949.50 grant to replace 420 feet of sewerline, add three new manholes and reconstruct a road over the project site. Superior has identified areas of publicly-owned sewerlines that have deteriorated to the point of being a health and safety issue for the residents of the area. The sewerlines are constructed of clay and are crumbling due to age and tree root damage.
JOHNSON COUNTY: Johnson County received a $300,000 grant to build a 4,000-square foot facility on donated city land. The facility will be occupied by the Child Development Center, Region II which provides early intervention and special education services for children birth to six years old.
EVANSTON: The city of Evanston received a $300,000 grant to build a new Sexual Assault and Family Violence Safehouse on land donated by the Evanston Housing Authority.
DOUGLAS: The city of Douglas received a $189,485.50 grant for senior center revitalization. The Douglas Senior Center is a private non-profit whose purpose is to provide services to the elderly and disabled citizens of Douglas and the surrounding area. The proposed project will begin with drainage improvements, continue with roof replacement and conclude with mechanical and electrical changes.
The Economic Development CDBG requests which were approved are:
ALBANY COUNTY: Albany County received a $25,000 planning grant to study the feasibility of rehabilitating the Lincoln Community Center.
DOUGLAS: The city of Douglas, which is partnering with Glenrock and Converse County, received a $25,000 planning grant for a Regional Growth Management Plan. A consultant will be hired to guide the development of county-wide growth policies and priorities, with the goal of directing coordinated development and redevelopment of the region. Lost Springs, Rolling Hills and unincorporated areas will be part of the planning process.
HOT SPRINGS COUNTY: Hot Springs County received a $25,000 planning grant to prepare a site plan to upgrade Lane 3 to meet county and state standards and connect to Lane 7. The road improvement would provide access to 160 acres of developable land parallel to state Highway 20.
JOHNSON COUNTY: Johnson County received a $25,000 planning grant for a conceptual redevelopment of the fairgrounds.
PINE HAVEN: The town of Pine Haven received a $25,000 planning grant to explore the need for a multi-purpose facility. The facility would include a senior center, emergency shelter for residents and travelers and room for new businesses.
POWELL: The city of Powell received a $25,000 planning grant to determine the feasibility of creating, operating and maintaining Centennial Community Park, on a city-owned tract of land.
UINTA COUNTY: Uinta County received a $25,000 planning grant to conduct a needs assessment for the elderly population of Bridger Valley. The focus will be to determine if the regional population could support an assisted living facility, a larger senior center and whether it is feasible to combine the two.
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.