December 1, 2011
CLICK HERE for video of Business Council CEO Bob Jensen talking about today's WBC board meeting in Cheyenne.
Tours local economic development successes, approves grant requests, hears division updates
CASPER, WYO. - The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors toured two data center facilities in Cheyenne, heard updates from three of its operational divisions, and reviewed community applications for Business Ready Community (BRC) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
The board toured the Thought Equity Motion data center facilities, which received a BRC Managed Data Center Cost Reduction grant; and the NCAR supercomputer facility, which received a BRC Business Committed grant. The Business Council’s Agribusiness, Business and Industry, and regional office divisions reported on their recent work. The board also evaluated eight Business Ready Community grant applications totaling $6,233,392 and 13 CDBG applications totaling $2,653,393.
BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY GRANT APPLICATIONS
The board reviewed eight applications, totaling $6,233,392 million, leaving $37,664,490 available for this biennium if awarded by the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB). Before making the final recommendation to the board, staff reviews each application, conducts a site visit, and presents to a board subcommittee. All recommendations for Business Ready Community projects will be forwarded to the SLIB for a final decision on Jan. 19.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: The Business Council administers the Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program (BRC), 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 recommendations to the SLIB for final approval. The SLIB is made up of the five statewide elected officials: Gov. Matt Mead, Secretary of State Max Maxfield, State Treasurer Joe Meyer, State Auditor, Cynthia Cloud, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.
BRC BUSINESS COMMITTED APPLICATIONS
GILLETTE – The city of Gillette requests a $920,885 Business Committed grant to install approximately 5,360 linear feet of water main to assist with the expansion of Liebherr. The proposed infrastructure will provide water service and fire protection for Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Company (Liebherr), as well as up to 19 other commercial and industrial businesses. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
GUERNSEY – The town of Guernsey requests a $1,485,000 Business Committed grant to improve the Guernsey Industrial Park and allow for the expansion of John Bunning Transfer Company, which is committed to expanding in the industrial park. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
BRC DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS
BUFFALO - The city of Buffalo requests a $500,000 Community Readiness Downtown Development grant to facilitate the upgrade of Crazy Woman Square. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
BRC COMMUNITY READINESS APPLICATION
CASPER - The Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board requests a $407,000 Community Readiness grant to complete a loop road off Salt Creek Parkway in the Salt Creek Heights Business Center located in Casper. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
KEMMERER - The city of Kemmerer requests a $1 million Community Readiness Downtown Development grant to renovate the Old Town Hall building in downtown Kemmerer. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
HULETT - Hulett requests a $302,000 Community Readiness grant to install a road, sidewalks, curb, gutter and street lights to develop the Hulett Business Park. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
SHERIDAN - The city of Sheridan requests a $1 million Community Readiness grant to extend sewer infrastructure into the Sheridan Commercial Park. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
WASHAKIE COUNTY - Washakie County requests a $618,507 Community Readiness Grant to construct an 8,400 square foot speculative building in the Fair View Industrial Park lot No. 3 located in Worland. (Recommended to SLIB for approval)
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM
The board reviewed 13 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program applications totaling $2,653,393. The Business Council staff recommended approval of 10 of the requests. Before making the final recommendation to the board, staff reviews each application, conducts a site visit (except CDBG planning grants) and presents to a board subcommittee.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: The Business Council administers the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), which is a federally funded pass through grant program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The full staff recommendations including project overviews are available atwww.wyomingbusiness.org.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
ALBANY COUNTY - Albany County requested $275,000 for a CDBG Handicapped Accessibility grant to upgrade and install handicap accessible amenities throughout the Plains Civic Center facility. (Not approved)
FORT LARAMIE - The town of Fort Laramie requested a $407,058 CDBG Public Infrastructure grant for replacing a portion of the old sewer line. (Approved in full)
PLATTE COUNTY - Platte County requested $83,385 of CDBG Handicapped Accessibility funds to update the existing hydraulic passenger elevator. (Approved in full)
SHERIDAN - The city of Sheridan requested $500,000 in CDBG Community Development funds to purchase blighted property adjacent to the Sheridan YMCA. (Not approved)
SHERIDAN COUNTY - Sheridan County requested $491,700 in CDBG Community Facilities funds to construct a 900 square foot ground floor space and renovate 1,000 square feet in the existing Public Health Building to relocate its Free Clinic. (Not approved)
INFRASTRUCTURE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
CARBON COUNTY - Carbon County requested $245,000 of CDBG Economic Development Infrastructure funds to rehabilitate a vacated gas station building at the west entrance to Rawlins. (Approved in full)
LARAMIE COUNTY - Laramie County requested $500,000 of CDBG Public Infrastructure funds for roadways, water, sewer, and electricity for a housing development project. (Approved in full)
PLANNING ONLY GRANTS
CODY – The town of Cody requested $50,000 in planning funds to revise its outdated master plan. (Approved in full)
GILLETTE - The city of Gillette requested a $40,000 planning grant to develop a neighborhood plan for a predominately senior/medical neighborhood in the city that will also become part of its comprehensive plan. (Approved in full)
GLENROCK - The town of Glenrock requested an $11,250 planning grant to develop a plan that will establish a proper sequence of building rehabilitation for the Bronco Building and explore future uses. (Approved in full)
LINCOLN COUNTY - Lincoln County requested $50,000 in planning funds for an economic and community development master plan. (Approved in full)
MILLS - The town of Mills requested a $15,000 planning grant to investigate the feasibility of joining the Central Wyoming Regional Water system. (Approved in full)
SHERIDAN - The city of Sheridan requested $15,000 in planning funds to develop a capital campaign or a plan to leverage additional funding and land to construct the National headquarters for the National American Indian, Alaskan & Hawaiian Educational Development Center (NAIAHEDC). (Approved in full)
The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.