ROCK SPRINGS -- The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency received recognition for earning national Main Street certification. Members of Wyoming Main Street attended Tuesday night’s meeting to explain and commemorate the honor.

“We’re here today to celebrate,” said Linda Klinck, Wyoming Main Street program manager.

Eight Wyoming communities have accreditation, which require meeting strict national standards. These include enjoying broad-based community support for the commercial revitalization process from both public and private sectors; developing a vision, mission statements, and work plan; possessing a historic preservation ethic; and having an active board of directors and committees.

“I’m happy to say that, of course, Rock Springs rises to the top almost every year,” Klinck said.

She noted that the coronavirus took a toll on communities and led to the closure of many businesses but that the city bucked the trend and saw the net gain of five businesses. Statewide, Wyoming raises its 2020 employment and business numbers compared to 2019, according to Klinck.

“I think that speaks a lot to the programs in the communities and how hard they work to help the businesses in the community,” she said.

Following the presentation of the certificate, credit was given to local volunteers.

“These programs don’t work without volunteers. I think I counted about 1,300 volunteer hours,” said Klinck, who added the amount was less than usual after many events were canceled due to the coronavirus.

She said the number of hours donated demonstrates the community’s belief in the program.

Mayor Tim Kaumo said, “We appreciate the partnership that we’ve always had, and these guys do a good job.”

Recognizing the work of city staff, volunteers, Main Street, and legislators, he said it “takes everybody to make it work.”

After acknowledging the work of Main Street/URA Manager Chad Banks and his staff, Wyoming Main Street Project Manager Kayla Kler presented a certificate of appreciation to Kaumo and the Rock Springs City Council for their continued support.

“It’s all about growing our downtown and making sure we have a strong foundation downtown, and I think we’re all focused on the right direction,” Kaumo said.

He then invited the Main Street presenters to stick around in Rock Springs and spend more money locally.

After the meeting, Banks said, “Being certified certainly adds credibility to our program. The certification process is fairly arduous with monthly reporting and an annual evaluation. It’s always an honor to get the official certification. While it’s generally not a surprise, it’s always nice once we get the official notification.”

COMMERCIAL TERMINAL PROJECT ADVANCES

Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport Manager Devon Brubaker attended Tuesday’s meeting to talk about the commercial terminal modernization project.

“Here tonight is the second of three federal grants coming in for the commercial terminal modernization project, this one being just a touch over $7.9 million,” he said.

He noted this followed the grant that was approved last month that was just over $4.9 million. A third grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, which he expects will arrive in 2022 or 2023, will total about $1 million.

The grant was approved, and construction of the new expansion and demolition of the old parking lots will begin the first week of August.

“The project is moving very quickly. The rest of the project outside of structural steel, reinforcement package, and site work and utilities is out to bid now with bids opening Aug. 4, 2021. Those other items have already opened and we’ve gotten fairly favorable bids all things considered with the way the construction commodity markets are right now. Everything is moving in a positive direction. First week of August you’ll start seeing activity on the project,” Brubaker said.

Mayor Kaumo said, “I have once again — I’m entertained by social media and I had seen a comment recently about why is the city of Rock Springs funneling all these millions of dollars to the airport? Where’s this money going?

“And these monies are actually the hard work of Devon and his board searching out grants for the upgrade of this facility, and yes, we do have a portion put in for grant dollars and the like, but great job and I’m glad you explain it very well for those people to know that you and your board have been very aggressive in seeking out these grants that are available to airports and that you were successful in receiving some decent funding to make our airport what it should be. Great job.”

OTHER BUSINESS

— There was one bid for the 2021 cracked seal project. R&D Sweeping from Rock Springs bid $53,508.95, which was submitted to city employees for further review and recommendation.

— Councilman Keaton West served as council president in the absence of Councilman Rob Zotti.

— Motions to approve officer and staff reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence were approved.

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