The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended a Business Ready Community (BRC) funding request for the city of Evanston during a special meeting Thursday.
Evanston’s request for a $3,000,000 grant and a $1,109,607 loan will assist with construction of a 60,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on a 3.6-acre lot in the Union Center Business Park for the relocation of Avalon International Aluminum from Portland, Oregon. The project is projected to create 60 jobs with a median wage of $30.53 to the Evanston area over the next five years.
Business Council Community Development Manager Noelle Reed highlighted the importance of the project in creating economic stability in Evanston and Wyoming. “Evanston anticipates significant job losses soon with the closing of the Westmoreland coal mine and the Pacificorp Power plant. This project will help add resiliency to the region,” Reed said.
Avalon chose Evanston as the company’s new home after searching in several places including New Mexico and Texas. Rick Carleton, CEO and general manager of Avalon, said they chose Evanston because of its advantageous transportation infrastructure, excellent business environment and the hard-working people he found there. “Hands down, Wyoming is the best state in the country to do business. Wyoming has the lifestyle we want, the values in the state we want, the location we want and the tax structure we want to run a business.” said Carleton.
Board member Erin Moore thanked the city of Evanston for their hard work and commented, “It’s very exciting to see Evanston at these stages in community development and business development. This project is a wonderful example of what to be doing.”
The project will now go the State Loan and Investment Board for final approval. The SLIB will make final decisions on the project at its 8 a.m. meeting on Nov. 5.
THE BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY PROGRAM
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.
Business Council staff review each application, conduct site visits and present projects to a board subcommittee before making final recommendations to the full board, which is made up of 15 businesspeople from across Wyoming.
After Business Council approval, projects are considered by the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB). 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.
Contact Strategic Partnerships Director Ron Gullberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307.286.9519 with questions or inquiries.