The Natrona County Commission gave its support for a grant request to partially pay for an economic development strategy at its meeting Tuesday.

The county has been using a strategic plan that ran from 2005 to 2010, and its time for a new one because of the area's development, said Bill Edwards, president and CEO of the Casper Area Economic Development Allliance.
The new strategic plan, if approved and funded, would gather suggestions from the community to help envision what the county would look like five years from now, Edwards said.

The commission's action Tuesday will support CAEDA when it submits a $50,000 grant request to the  Wyoming Business Council through the Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program.

CAEDA will match the $50,000 with $25,000.

The report would analyze the region’s economic condition, coordinate local economic development interests, identify goals, and develop a strategy for projects.

After the commission meeting, Edwards said the plan is part of a method to envision the future.

The 2005-2010 strategic plan did foster the vision for downtown development in Casper, enhanced growth of some businesses, and the changes at the Casper-Natrona County International Airport, Edwards said.

"You see things happening at the airport relative to some infrastructure improvement, relative to telecommunications infrastructure improvement, relative to Commerce Drive and some of those kinds of things that has positioned the airport to continue to grow," he said.

If the commission approves the grant request, the application would be submitted to the Wyoming Business Council in June. The business council would then need to approve it, send it to the State Loan and Investment Board for approval.

If the SLIB authorizes it, CAEDA would take bids for the project, which would be scheduled for completion in January 2017.

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