Cheyenne, Wyo. – This morning, the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) approved Business Ready Community (BRC) Grant and Loan Program applications from the cities of Lander, Newcastle and Rawlins plus a request from the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority (SEEDA). SLIB considered these projects after the Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended funding for all four BRC applications at its Feb.23, 2022, meeting in Cheyenne.
“With three of the four projects this round revolving around planning, it shows just how important having a strong foundational plan is to being able to truly build economic development impact at the local level,” said Bert Adam, WBC Investments Director.
The SLIB unanimously approved the following projects:
Community Readiness Application
The City of Lander requested an $889,105 community readiness grant to develop a 3.94-acre site that will house a future assisted living and memory care facility. The facility is to be constructed at 1400 Bishop Randall Drive, located between Sage West Hospital and the Lander Golf Course. The site is city-owned and requires water, sewer, street upgrades, three-phase power, fiber conduit, and natural gas to be shovel-ready.
SLIB upheld the WBC board’s previous approval contingent upon a letter of intent for full funding of the actual facility construction and, in the event the building and site are leased or sold to a private entity, a Revenue Recapture Agreement be executed with at least 25% of net proceeds returning to the BRC account.
Planning Grant Applications
The City of Newcastle requested an $18,750 planning grant to determine the feasibility of a public gathering space called “Heritage Park,” which will be the location for the local farmers market, community events, and a veterans memorial. The site is located at 1401 Washington Blvd, at the intersection of highways 16 and 85. The community envisions this space as a welcoming stop for travelers that will further attract visitors to the downtown area. The site, valued at approximately $250,000, is currently undeveloped and will be donated to the city by Pinnacle Bank.
The City of Rawlins requested a $50,000 planning grant to develop a five-year economic plan for its community. This plan will outline the economic vision, mission, and goals of the community; outline economic strategic and specific actions to be taken; align with the 2021 City of Rawlins Strategic Plan; and help citizens, businesses, and local partners understand and work toward the economic priorities of the community.
The Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority (SEEDA) requested a $20,000 planning grant to evaluate three to four potential sites to continue the High-Tech Park concept. The first phase of the Sheridan High-Tech Park has been one of the community’s most successful economic development efforts. The 43.5-acre park currently contains three businesses – Kennon, Weatherby and Vacutech – that employ approximately 300 people in light manufacturing and R&D occupations.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY (BRC) GRANT PROGRAM
The Wyoming Business Council administers the BRC 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 WBC team thoroughly reviews and vets each application, conducts in-person or virtual site visits, and presents to a board subcommittee prior to making final recommendations to the full Board of Directors.
The Business Council board is required by statute to forward BRC grant and loan recommendations to SLIB for final approval. The SLIB is comprised of the five statewide elected officials: Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction.