Wyoming's top five elected officials recommended about half a $22.75 million loan request from a Cody pharmaceutical manufacturer, according to a news release from the Wyoming Business Council on Thursday.

The State Loan and Investment board approved $12 million for Cody Laboratories, after it had recommended $11 million for the company a year ago.

The company said the project at that time was expected to create 39 new jobs. Its work force is now 135, and additional funding could add another 60 jobs.

So Cody Laboratories asked the Wyoming Business Council for another $22.75 million in additional funding with an economic development large project loan, and won approval from it.

Company President Bernhard Opitz told the board the loans will allow it to expand production and research for a worldwide market.

But on Thursday, the State Loan Investment Board -- Gov. Matt Mead, Secretary of State Ed Murray, Treasurer Mark Gordon, Auditor Cynthia Cloud and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow -- granted $12 million.

The SLIB now will send the decision to Gordon to determine the length and rate of the loan and then to Mead for final approval.

The Business Council says an economic development large project loan may be used to finance the purchase, construction and installation of buildings or equipment that will add value to goods, services or resources.

The SLIB also approved a  $4.2 million Business Ready Community grant and loan package to Sheridan’s economic development joint powers board.

The Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority received full funding for a requested $2,999,496 grant and a $1,225,000 loan to build a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the city's Hi-Tech Business Park.

The economic development organization will lease the facility to Vacutech, with the company option of buying it after five years. Vacutech has 130 employees, up from 20 when it moved from Colorado in 2012.

The company, which makes a variety of central and mobile vacuuming products, expects to create 76 new jobs in the next five years, according to the WBC's news release.

The SLIB also awarded a $37,500 planning grant for the town of Guernsey for a study of potential projects for it to grow and diversify its economy.

The project would look at working with the Wyoming National Guard's Camp Guernsey, improving infrastructure, identifying town-owned land, promoting local historic assess, and addressing quality of life and housing needs.

The SLIB approved the full request as long as the requests for proposals for the project include public comments, targets of markets and industries, and draws upon previous plans.

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