Riverton Ranger Via Wyoming News Exchange
The news was surprising to Wyoming Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, who was involved, almost 20 years ago, in crafting the legislation that governs the WBC program.
WBC investment division director Julie Kozlowski agreed that “eligible applicants in the statute have always been listed as cities, towns, counties, joint powers boards, and the tribes” so “for all these years the staff of the WBC has believed that the tribes were eligible applicants for the program.”
“The idea was to have people be able to apply through the tribal governments — either individually or together,” Case said during the Aug. 20 meeting. “These are citizens of the state of Wyoming, (and) the state of Wyoming taxes tribal minerals. That’s a source of funding for our programs.”
Cayla Nimmo File, Star-Tribune
RIVERTON — Wyoming’s Attorney General says local tribal entities are not eligible for grants and loans through the Wyoming Business Council Business Ready Community Program, WBC staff told the Wyoming Legislature’s Select Committee on Tribal Relations last month.
In recent years, however, Kozlowski said the WBC has “had more difficulty” making tribal projects “come to fruition.” So she reached out to the AG’s office and asked them to “please help me understand what are the hurdles that we’re looking at here.”
“Their assessment was that there wasn’t clarity on the process by which the tribes could participate in the program,” Kozlowski said.