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WBC recommend $10.95M in requests from Lander, Laramie County and Rock Springs-Sweetwater Airport Board

Governor Mark Gordon (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors have recommended three applications to the “Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program” totaling $10.95 million.

The applications are from the City of Lander, Laramie County and the Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport Board. The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended the grants during their March 10 virtual meeting for consideration by the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) for final approval.

The City of Lander is requesting a $3 million grant and a $2.7 million loan to construct a 22,500 square foot facility on city owned property for the Maven headquarters. The site is 1.54 acres.

“The site lends itself to further expansion, as it is adjacent to Central Wyoming College – Lander campus and the Lander Economic Development Association’s (LEDA) Enterprise Park,” the business council said.  ”The funding will allow them to expand their product lines and sale as well as create 23 new jobs.”

Laramie County has requested a $2.25 million Business Ready Community (BRC) Managed Data Center Cost Reduction grant “to reduce utility and broadband costs for VM Accel’s Accelerated Data Center in downtown Cheyenne.”

“The company offers high-performance computing services for workloads including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, video transcoding, weather modeling, data analysis, and more,” the WBC said. “ The company is required to contribute 125% or $2.8 million in capital investment and payroll. Community Readiness ”

The Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport Board is requesting a $3 million grant in order to modernize Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport’s commercial airline terminal.

This renovation and expansion project also aims to enable the development of over 170 acres of land that can be marketed to aerospace  or  other  industry, according to the WBC.

“These projects demonstrate Wyoming’s entrepreneurial spirit and are good examples of projects that help create new opportunities for Wyomingites,” WBC CEO Josh Dorrell said. “Whether it’s by pivoting to capture new markets, continuing to grow Wyoming’s burgeoning tech scene, or opening access to air travel for Wyoming businesses and citizens, each of these projects works to create good jobs and better lives for people in Wyoming.”

The board voted unanimously to recommend all three requests.

“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 WBC said. “Business Council staff work with public entities to prepare applications, review each application, conduct in-person or virtual site visits, and make presentations to a board subcommittee before making final recommendations to the full board.”

“The Business Council board is required by statute to forward BRC grant and loan recommendations to the State Loan and Investment Board (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.”

The SLIB will make the final decision on whether to approve the requests during their 8 am April 8 meeting.    

“For more information, check out the meeting materials here,” the WBC said. “The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 11, in person in Cheyenne.”