SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended three grant, loan requests at its meeting Thursday.
One of those recommendations was a $4.2 million Business Ready Community grant and loan package to Sheridan’s local economic development organization. The Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority will use the money to build a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Sheridan Hi-Tech Park. Vacutech, a company that moved from Colorado in 2012, will lease the building from SEEDA.
According to SEEDA’s application materials, the lease payment is expected to be $17,500 per month for the first five years, with the option to purchase the facility at the end of year five for $3,643,665. The cost reflects a rebate to Vacutech for its lease payments made and donated property value. If Vacutech chooses not to purchase the facility at that time, lease payments will be set at $5.80 per square foot and appreciate 2 percent each year thereafter for the next four years of the lease. Vacutech will have the option to purchase the property during that time, but won’t be rebated for lease payments received, only for the donated land value.
The application indicated that lease payments will be used to make the loan payments. Proceeds after that will be set aside by SEEDA for insurance on the building and a long-term maintenance fund.
After the loan is repaid, proceeds from the sale will also be set aside for SEEDA initiatives, further development and maintenance of project-ready property in the Hi-Tech Business Park and other locations and a portion will be held in reserve for business recruitment and retention efforts.
Vacutech has grown from 20 to 130 workers in the last five years. Company officials anticipate this expansion creating 76 new jobs in the next five years.
SEEDA requested a $2,999,496 grant and $1,225,000 loan for the facility in the Sheridan Hi-Tech Park. The project is expected to be completed by June 2019.
According to SEEDA’s application materials, the new facility will be constructed on a 4-acre lot adjacent to Vacutech’s current facility. Vacutech owns the lot and will donate it to SEEDA along with 1.87 acres of the property on their current facility to construct a parking lot to access both facilities.
The WBC also recommended funding for Cody Labs. All told, the increased scope of the project means Cody Labs would receive a $23 million loan to increase its production from five to 11 metric tons a year and create 57 jobs with salaries and benefits totaling $8.5 million annually. The Business Council board also moved forward a $37,500 planning grant for Guernsey to study projects that might help the town grow and diversify its economy.
The SLIB, made up of Wyoming’s five statewide elected officials, will consider each of the three projects during its 8 a.m. meeting Oct. 5 in Cheyenne.