In one week Laramie will know whether or not it will receive a $5.4 million grant to create the Cirrus Sky Technology Park. The State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) is scheduled to hold a special grant and loan meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17th in Cheyenne.

The grant would underwrite the purchase of a 149-acre parcel of land north of Laramie; allow the installation of wet infrastructure (water & sewer) and roads, essentially making it a "shovel-ready" site. The land is located adjacent to the Western Area Power Administration's regional switchyard, which is the focal point for four, separate, independent regional power transmission feeds. The City of Laramie and Laramie Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) believe it will be an attractive location for cloud computing, research & development and a broad spectrum of growth-oriented information technology businesses.

The Business Ready Community Grant made its way before SLIB after a 10 to 3 vote in favor of the grant by the Wyoming Business Council in December. Molly Spangler, Investment Ready Communities Director, noted that the $5.4 million grant was the largest that had ever gone before the Wyoming Business Council and represents approximately 10 percent of its annual allocations.

LEDC CEO Gaye Stockman acknowledged, “The grant, while it may be a significant amount, will provide the technology park with an equally high return on investment to Laramie, its residents, and the State on a whole.”

Critics of Cirrus Sky say it's too much money to invest in a project without more businesses committed to the project. The University of Wyoming is the only entity that has committed to buying land so far.

A majority of the board members must vote in favor of the grant for approval. The board is comprised of Governor Matt Mead, Sec. of State Max Maxfield, State Auditor Cynthia Cloud, State Treasurer Mark Gordon and Supt. of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. The board meeting will take place in the Room 1699 of the Herschler Building, starting at 8 a.m. on Jan. 17th and will be open to the public.

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