SHERIDAN — The advisory board of the Story Community Fund announced Wednesday that Story will be the recipient of a community assessment by the Wyoming Rural Development Council early next month.
Following two days of public meetings with Story residents and stakeholders, the Council will provide the nonprofit Story Community Fund with an in-depth report detailing grant opportunities and other channels through which Story residents can plan and execute major local projects.
“This is an opportunity for the whole community to give us their input so we can pursue what they want,” Community Fund Treasurer Patty Hoover said.
Founded in 2011, the Story Community Fund works to aid local nonprofits and charitable organizations while helping ensure their long-term stability and potential for growth.
While most of the organization’s recent projects have focused on aiding the Story Volunteer Fire Department, board members said Wednesday they were interested in branching out into other facets of the local community.
“There’s so much to be done, and there’s probably even more that we haven’t thought of,” Hoover said.
The assessment by the Wyoming Rural Development Council will take place June 3-4 at the Story Fire Hall.
A series of meetings are scheduled over the course of those two days in order to give residents an opportunity to publicly discuss factors ranging from tourism to Story School, to area parks and more.
All sessions are open to the public, and board members said Wednesday they encourage everyone to attend.
“We want the people of Story — the landowners, the residents — to tell us what they want the future of Story to be,” board member Bernie Spielman said.
Story Community Fund Chairman Patrick Morgan said Rural Development Council staffers will seek input regarding existing problem areas, available resources and specific project visions from Story residents and stakeholders.
Once completed, board members said the final report will help guide the Story Community Fund in its efforts to grow its endowment and further aid existing philanthropic groups.
The finalized document will be available for viewing by the public. Community Fund board members said they expect it to be available sometime this summer.
The assessment and its associated costs are set to be funded mostly by a $5,000 grant from the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation.
Among other projects, the Story Community Fund is also in the process of developing a pilot project to improve the existing recycling program in Story in addition to working with county officials to better prepare the community for the upcoming wildfire season.
The organization recently raised about $25,000 to purchase updated equipment — including new bunker gear, a high-pressure water cannon and an industrial strength washer and dryer — for the local volunteer fire department.
An all-volunteer effort, the Story Community Fund advisory board is comprised of 10 members who are also landowners in Story.
The organization depends heavily on private donors to help fund its efforts in the Story community.