The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended six Business Ready Community (BRC) funding requests during its Sept. 6 quarterly meeting beginning in Cody.
BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY (BRC) GRANT APPLICATIONS
Business Council staff review each application, conduct site visits, or conference calls in the case of planning grants, and make presentations to a board subcommittee before making final recommendations to the full board.
About the Program: The Wyoming 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 and loan recommendations to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) for final approval. The SLIB is comprised of the five statewide elected officials: the governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction.
The SLIB will make final decisions on BRC project requests at its 8 a.m. meeting on Oct. 4.
- Cody requests a $3 million BRC Business Committed grant and a $3 million BRC loan to construct a facility for the expansion of Gunwerks firearms production. The building will be built on five acres purchased by Gunwerks and valued at $265,000, on the north side of Cody. The building will be built on five acres purchased by Gunwerks and deeded to Forward Cody (an economic development organization.) The building and land will be leased to Gunwerks. In five years, the project is expected to create 52 jobs, retain 58 jobs, increase payroll over $3 million and provide the business an opportunity for consolidation and possible relocation of corporate officers from Salt Lake City. (Board recommends full funding as requested.)
- Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board requests a $3 million BRC Business Committed grant to construct a 30-unit assisted living facility on a 3-acre site in Torrington. The project will meet the demand for assisted living as identified in two market studies. Seniors will have the opportunity to continue living in Goshen County where they might otherwise have to seek assisted living in Nebraska or other communities. The project will also provide employment opportunities in Torrington versus those who would commute for those jobs. (Board recommends full funding as requested.)
- Buffalo requests an $800,000 BRC Community Development Readiness grant. This represents the balance of funds necessary to complete the Buffalo Tech Park Phase I project. The project was partially funded ($1,000,000) by the State Loan and Investment Board at their January 2018 meeting. (Board recommends funding at $720,000.)
- Gillette requests a $1,440,256 BRC Community Development Readiness grant to fund expansion of fiber infrastructure. The project will add more than 11 miles of new infrastructure installation, complete approximately 119 miles of raceway infrastructure and 5 backhaul loops to commercial and industrial zones across the city. (Board does not recommend funding at this time.)
- Powell requests a $2,623,724 BRC Community Development Readiness grant to construct a conference and community center adjacent to a privately financed, 70-80-room hotel. The conference center will have the capacity to hold 200-250 people and will contain a commercial kitchen. This project is a public-private partnership that will invest nearly $9 million in Powell and increase Powell’s room capacity by 50%. (Board recommends full funding as requested.)
- Sundance requests a $300,000 BRC Community Development grant for the shortfall on the Old Stoney Restoration project. The original project request was $2,957,434 in April 2017. The project was ultimately funded at $2,452,104. All bids received on the project were higher than what cost estimates projected and higher than what the city was awarded in grant funds. Value engineering saved $146,564. However, there is no funding available as a contingency. The requested amount from Sundance will cover contingency funds in event of unforeseeable issues. Fundraising efforts will continue. (Board recommends full funding as requested.)
- Big Horn County requests a $185,600 BRC Community Development Enhancement grant for the purchase and installation of a 250-foot Magic Carpet style surface lift for beginner skiers at the Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area (ABMRA). The Antelope Butte Foundation, Inc. (ABF), a non-profit corporation, is working to reopen the Antelope Butte Ski area into a year-round mountain recreation area. This project will create jobs, benefit youth and families by providing year-round recreational, training and educational experiences, and benefit local businesses and communities through increased tourism activities. (Board recommends full funding as requested.)
For more information about these projects, visit the Wyoming Business Council website, www.wyomingbusiness.org, or call 1-800-262-3425.