The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended a total of $33,835,000 for three Economic Development Large Project loans during Thursday’s quarterly meeting at the Washakie Museum and Cultural Center in Worland.
The board also recommended $704,561 in Business Ready Community (BRC) grants and loans for two projects.
The State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) will review the Business Council Board’s large project recommendations during its 8 a.m. meeting on Oct. 6 in Room 1669 of the Herschler Building in Cheyenne. The Governor has final approval of the projects after the SLIB review. The SLIB will also make final decisions on the BRC grant and loan requests.
The SLIB comprises the five statewide elected officials: the governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction.
Economic Development Large Project Program
About the Program: The Wyoming Business Council provides recommendations for the Economic Development Large Project program. The governor has final approval of the projects after a SLIB review. Through the program, the state treasurer is authorized to lend funds for the benefit of Wyoming businesses. The loan may finance purchase, construction and installation of buildings or equipment, which will add economic value to goods, services or resources within the state.
- Standard Alcohol requests a $25 million loan to help build its $76 million production facility in Cheyenne for turning natural gas and carbon dioxide into mixed alcohols for use as a fuel additive. The project is expected to create 32 new jobs paying an average wage of $43.57 and add an additional $6.8 million in direct state and local tax benefits over the life of the loan (17 years). The direct assessed valuation increase over three years as a result of the company’s expansion is projected to be $17,443,791. The project will add value to the state’s natural resources. (Board recommends partial funding of $17,440,000.)
- Atlas Carbon requests a $25 million loan to expand its activated carbon plant in Gillette. This is a $25 million project. The company produces about 16 million tons of activated carbon every year. Operations became 24 hours a day, seven days a week this summer. The proposed plant expansion would boost production to 108 million tons per year, increase full-time employees from 12 to 32 and pay an average hourly wage of $37.03. It would also provide an overall economic benefit to both Campbell County and the state of Wyoming by adding value to the region’s natural resources. The expansion is projected to inject $2,251,620 in direct state and local tax benefits over the life of the loan (10 years). The direct assessed valuation increase over three years as a result of the company’s expansion is projected to be $6,531,282. (Board recommends partial funding of $6,530,000.)
- Cody Laboratories requests a $33,750,000 loan to expand its pharmaceutical manufacturing process in Cody. The $45 million project would more than double production to 11 metric tons per year. The company would increase full-time employees from 117 to 156, paying an average hourly wage of $21.57. The expansion is projected to create $4,107,642 in direct state and local tax benefits over the life of the loan (11 years). The direct assessed valuation increase over three years as a result of the company’s expansion is projected to be $9,867,597. (Board recommends partial funding of $9,865,000.)
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 SLIB for final approval.
- The Old Pen Joint Powers Board requests a $1,208,413 grant to renovate the historic Wyoming Frontier Prison Guards’ Quarters in Rawlins. The project will create space to accommodate the Carbon County Visitors Council, an entrepreneurial space, a conference room and additional restrooms. (Board does not recommend funding the Community Readiness grant. The applicant is encouraged to change its request to a Community Enhancement grant for re-evaluation.)
- Lander requests a $466,210 grant and $313,710 loan to build a 3,400-square-foot Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. The project is intended to attract, enhance and increase visitation to the region, provide handicap-accessible facilities, offer extra office space and retain and expand businesses by providing services as a chamber and business complex. (Board recommends partial funding with a $466,210 grant and a $194,316 loan in accordance with the BRC allocation plan and available enhancement funding.)
- Niobrara County requests a $50,000 grant to develop a long-term community development and housing plan. The plan will serve as a recovery blueprint to the 500-year flood, which caused extensive damage to Lusk and Niobrara County on June 4, 2015. (Board recommends partial funding with a $44,035 grant in accordance with the BRC allocation plan and available planning grant funding.)
More information about these projects is available at http://bit.ly/1OyePEp.
About the Wyoming Business Council: Our mission is to increase Wyoming’s prosperity. We envision a Wyoming where industries are strong, diverse and expanding. Small business is a big deal. Communities have the highest quality of life. Wyoming is the technology center of the High Plains. Wyoming knows no boundaries. Please go towww.wyomingbusiness.org for more information.