SWEETWATER COUNTY — The Sweetwater County Economic Development Coalition (SEDC) received an update Thursday on the proposed Sweetwater Industrial Development project slated for the Middle Baxter Road area east of Rock Springs near the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport.
Phase one of the project focused on the types of industry which could locate at Middle Baxter. Phase two, which was presented Thursday, targeted infrastructure development.
Sweetwater County has been following through on the analysis of development of thousands of acres near the airport along Middle Baxter Road. Currently, it is researching the costs of infrastructure and the types of markets it wants to attract, going hand-in-hand with businesses that complement the coal and trona industries of the county.
Water, power and natural gas infrastructure were the main focus of phase two. The group was informed that the largest challenge for industrial development in the area will be water. It was suggested that a 2-million to 2.5-million-gallon storage tank and an 8- to 12-inch water pipe will have to be installed to service the area and they discussed opportunities, costs, and possible phasing to get that started.
The next step in the process includes pursuing partnerships with companies in the target industries, which will lead to a more precise and specific list of infrastructure needs.
The land in question is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the Rock Springs Grazing Association and includes 13 parcels. The board and advisors agreed to focus on two parcels on the southern end of the identified area just east of Simplot. As the development takes off, infrastructure development could move further north toward Interstate 80.
SEDC is a joint effort with the cities of Green River, Rock Springs and Sweetwater County. The development project is being put together by William H. Smith and Associates and Thomas P. Miller and Associates through a grant that was awarded from the Wyoming Business Council in March of last year.
The SEDC has taken the state’s ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) initiatives and mission and focused them to meet the needs of Sweetwater County. SEDC offices are located in the county’s Land Use Department. Kayla McDonald is the economic development specialist, and the board consists of Devon Brubaker, Reed Clevenger, Laura Schoenfeld, Tim Kaumo, and Marty Carollo. Advisors include Doc Wendling, Pete Rust, Kim Dale, Jenissa Meredith and ex-officio board member Eric Bingham.