Green River Star -

By David Martin

County seeks regional support


In its attempt to convince state officials that locating an industrial megacomplex on par with Alberta, Canada’s Industrial Heartland, within southwest Wyoming, Sweetwater County commissioners sent a draft joint county resolution to neighboring counties.

Commissioner Wally Johnson said a letter with the draft resolution was sent to county governments in Sublette, Lincoln, Uinta and Carbon counties. Johnson said he’s received favorable feedback from officials in Carbon County, but also said the proposal is meeting some reluctance in Sublette County, which he said doesn’t want to get “crosswise” with Gov. Matt Mead.

The letter from Sweetwater County states the importance of the five counties working together to compete against the state’s other regions for the project.

“Sweetwater County envisions that each southwest Wyoming county commission will approve it and grant their respect board chairman the authority to sign the resolution,” the letter states.

The resolution itself states the southwestern counties would provide the ideal location for such a complex, containing the needed resources for the project.

Johnson said the project is such a massive undertaking that it probably wouldn’t be situated within a single county. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, he said, took the coordination of three area governments to complete and believes a similar approach would need to be taken in Wyoming.

“Collectively, we can make a better case to have it located in southwest Wyoming,” Johnson said. “It’s more feasible in multiple counties.”

While discussion has taken place in the past about Sweetwater County and the region being behind other counties lobbying for the complex, Johnson believes they’re ahead of the pack due to the work being done to support the region’s application.

While a application template hasn’t been provided by the governor’s office, Johnson said the working done by both the county and the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce will allow them to fill in data as its needed in the governor’s proposal.

While much is being done in Sweetwater County in regards to the complex, other counties are moving ahead with their own proposals as well. Commissioner John Kolb said commissioners in Natrona County have identified land and water resources in their big for the proposed complex.

“They’re actively doing the same thing we’re doing,” Kolb said.


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