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State Loan and Investment Board Approves $20 Million Grant and Loan Request for Project Smile

Cheyenne, Wyo – The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) presented one Business Ready Community (BRC) grant and loan request to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) at their meeting on Thursday, Oct. 5. The SLIB approved the request from the City of Mills for Project Smile for a $15 million Business Committed grant and a $5 million Business Committed loan. 
BRC Project Presented
  • The City of Mills requested a $15 million Business Committed grant and $5 million loan to construct an approximately 69,000-square foot manufacturing facility and a 15,000-square foot paint and blast building for Project Smile, an existing business in the community.
  • SLIB approved the project funding as requested.
Project Smile
The project was confirmed as Austin Engineering, an existing business in the community that was created in Laramie in 1938 and moved to Mills in 1940. Austin designs and manufactures customized dump truck bodies, buckets, water tanks, tire handlers, and other ancillary products utilized in the mining industry. It is a complete service provider, offering on and off-site repair and maintenance as well as heavy equipment lifting to its clients around the world.
The company owns approximately 47 acres housing a manufacturing facility, office buildings, parking, and a storage yard. The company will transfer ownership of the property where the facilities will be built to the City of Mills and, additionally, will donate approximately 25 acres to the city for future community development projects, including the expansion of parking for First Street Park. 
“This project will help the economic growth flywheel move even faster in Mills and Casper because, in addition to retaining 111 jobs and adding 50 more, it will pump over $5 million back into Mills for future economic development and bring nearly $8 million back to the BRC program,” said Josh Dorrell, Wyoming Business Council CEO. “We are proud to support the City of Mills and their efforts to build their own economic development capacity which in turn supports Wyoming’s economic growth.”
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