Wyoming economic development projects receive SLIB funding
Funding for publicly owned infrastructure revitalization projects
January 22, 2017
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Jan. 19, 2017 – The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) approved three Business Ready Community (BRC) grant and loan requests at its January 19 meeting in Cheyenne.
BRC Grant and Loan Requests
The Wyoming Business Council administers the Business Ready Community (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 Business Council board is required by statute to forward BRC grant and loan recommendations to the 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. Wyoming Business Council staff reviews each application, conducts site visits and makes presentations to a Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors subcommittee before making final recommendations to the full board.
Laramie requested a $3 million grant for the construction of a 20,000 square-foot building for HiViz Shooting Systems, a Laramie-based firearms accessories manufacturer. The company anticipated creating 20 jobs in the first three years of operation, but has actually created 51 positions to date and already outgrown its current building. This expansion is expected to allow the company to sustain annual sales growth of 32 percent for the next five years. The expansion is in line with plans for a five-building campus on its 7.3-acre site. HiViz has stated a goal of 128 positions with average pay above Albany County’s median wage by 2020. Revenue generated from the lease and sale of building space will be reinvested in local and state economic development efforts. (SLIB approved full funding as requested.)
Laramie requested a $3 million grant to redevelop the Empress Lot, a blighted property in the city’s downtown district. The money will be used to construct a two-story, mixed-use building, which will accommodate retail space on the ground floor and space available for tenant finish on the second floor. Ground floor space has been pre-leased to a local business, Big Hollow Food Co-op. The business anticipates this expansion will result in annual growth of 12 percent for the next five years. Big Hollow’s expansion is expected to create 12 jobs and capital investment of at least $600,000 during the next five years. Nearby businesses will benefit from increased traffic downtown and regional agricultural producers will benefit from increased demand. The project ties into the community’s plans to develop downtown and attract and grow a technology sector. Revenue generated from the lease and sale of building space will be reinvested in state economic development efforts and Laramie Main Street projects. (SLIB approved full funding as requested.)
Lincoln County Economic Development JPB requested a $3 million grant and $1.25 million loan to purchase the Glencoe Junction facility south of Kemmerer and create an industrial park with rail access. The 300-acre site allows easy access to both rail and truck transport and would be used to attract companies. (SLIB did not approve funding and requested the WBC continue to work with the applicant to refine the project.)
Old Pen JPB requests a $500,000 grant to renovate the historic Wyoming Frontier Prison Guards’ Quarters in Rawlins. The renovated structure will provide office space for the Carbon County Visitors Council, a conference room and additional restrooms. The project is based on information derived through a BRC Planning grant awarded in 2014 and builds on the planning and strategy work done by the city of Rawlins to increase tourism. (SLIB approved full funding as requested.)