Business Ready Community Grant applications to be heard
Two Sublette County project requests on slate for June 5th meeting in Saratoga
by Wyoming Business Council
June 2, 2008
The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, June 5 in the Platte Valley Community Center of Saratoga.
Highlighting the meeting will be recommendations on Business Ready Community Grants; Community Development Block Grants and Community Facilities Grants. In addition, the board will review Challenge Loan applications, hear updates on the work of the State Energy Office and review contracts from its University of Wyoming partners.
Six Business Ready Community applications worth $13,351,034 will go before the Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors. By statute, The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors forwards its recommendations for Business Ready Community and Community Facilities Grants to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) for final decision. The Wyoming Business Council recommendations will be presented at SLIB’s 8 a.m. June 19 meeting in room B63 of 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 State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride.
The Business Ready Community Grant applications which will be reviewed by the Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors are:
The town of Glenrock requests a $1.5 million grant to construct a building to recruit and grow A-Square of Wyoming, LLC. A-Square manufactures and exports high-power rifles and ammunition.
Sublette County requests a $3 million grant to purchase land and construct a building which will be leased by Callaghan Cabinets and Millwork, LLC. Sublette County will purchase the property and construct a commercial facility for the expansion of cabinet manufacturing.
Sweetwater County requests a $1,660,846 grant to upgrade 1.7 miles of County Road 4-15, which services Bridger Coal. The goal of this project is to increase production time and operational efficiency at Bridger Coal’s underground mine so as to economically sustain coal deliveries to the nearby Jim Bridger Power Plant.
The city of Evanston requests a $1.5 million grant to construct a quarter-mile section of Commerce Drive, as well as install water, sewer and related infrastructure. The Commerce Drive expansion will give both current and future Union Center businesses easier access to I-80 and the airport, while simultaneously avoiding a high density residential area with potential safety hazards.
The town of Pinedale requests a $2,690,188 grant to complete Phase II and Phase III of the Westside Water Project. Phase II and Phase III will construct a 12-inch water line and loop the water main from the school property on Highway 191 north to a private residential and commercial development, the Bloomfield Annexation. The Bloomfield Annexation is 237 acres, 52 acres of which are zoned for commercial development.
Teton County requests a $1.5 million grant and a $1.5 million loan to construct a new parking lot, restrooms and guest services associated with Teton Village. The new paved parking lot will enable enhanced year-round tourism as well as new business development and redevelopment at Teton Village.
The single Community Facilities application to go before the board is:
The Washakie County Joint Powers Board requests a $1,073,531 grant for the Worland Community Center Complex. Renovations will include installation of an automatic sprinkler system, bathrooms, a commercial kitchen, masonry and floor repair, stage construction, windows, parking lot, and general interior work.
The Business Council Board of Directors will also hear five Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) requests worth $125,000. The grants which will go before the Business Council Board of Directors are:
The city of Cody requests $25,000 of economic development planning only funds. In 2007, the city of Cody received a Business Ready Community (BRC) award which will provide infrastructure to a 345 acre business park, the North Cody Light Industrial Area. Included in the business park are 65 acres of land the new infrastructure will access. Planning for the full industrial development of those 65 acres is the purpose of this request.
The city of Green River requests $25,000 of economic development planning only funds. According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), approximately 17,000 vehicles pass through Green River on Interstate 80 per day – a number projected to double by 2020. Anxious to capitalize on that traffic flow, the city would like to develop a comprehensive downtown development plan. Additionally, the city is beginning to explore how to best maximize the development to the north of Interstate 80 made possible by a Business Ready Communities Community Readiness Grant.
Hot Springs County requests $25,000 of economic development planning only funds. A community assessment conducted for Thermopolis and Hot Springs County in 2003 indicated that residents felt a recreation center or community facility was needed. Funds will be used to conduct a feasibility study evaluating current users and programs versus future needs, community and economic impact, potential sites, artist renderings of a potential site and other services.
The town of Ranchester requests $25,000 of economic development planning only funds. One of the top priorities, according to a community assessment in 2008, was the development of a plan for the business district. Funds will be used to hire a consultant to analyze existing elements of the business district including: how to make Ranchester an appealing location for new entrepreneurs; what types of jobs might be created; identifying areas of blight that need to be addressed; current zoning regulations and identifying elements that may hinder the success of a healthy business district.
Uinta County requests $25,000 of economic development planning only funds. The town of Lyman owns a lot across the street from the current library and has agreed to donate the land if the library is able to construct a new building. Funds would be used to hire an architect to develop conceptual drawings and cost estimates for a new building that would fit the donated site.
The CDBG program is a federally funded pass through grant program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Economic Development activities under the CDBG program help communities with downtown projects, infrastructure projects and planning activities such as feasibility studies or growth management plans. Community Development activities under the CDBG program help communities with public infrastructure, handicapped accessibility and community facilities projects.
This year there is $1.06 million in the Economic Development CDBG account and $1.25 million in the CDBG Community Development account. Grant requests for CDBG’s do not need to be approved by the SLIB.
The mission of the Wyoming Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.wyomingbusiness.org.