SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Educational and Economic Development Authority approved its fiscal year 2023 budget during a meeting earlier this week.

The joint powers board has budgeted for $919,766 in revenues and $822,209 in expenditures, SEEDA administrator Robert Briggs said.

The budget approved by the board this week was largely similar to a version submitted to the county in June, but the board approved several amendments to reflect changes that have happened since the budget was first drafted.

One change, in the budget message, acknowledges work on the Kennon project was not completed in the 2022 fiscal year as previously anticipated, but instead extended briefly into the 2023 fiscal year, Briggs said. Briggs said work on the building’s envelope had been completed as of July 12.

The budget message was also revised to show the board will not need to use cash on hand to balance its budget as previously expected, Briggs said.

In addition, $14,400 was added to the contractual agreements line item for a proposed assessment of the Weatherby building. The debt service line items of principal and interest were also adjusted to reflect the first payment of a Kennon project loan from the Wyoming Business Council.

Cash positions have also been revised to better reflect the organization’s financial standings as of the beginning of the fiscal year, Briggs said.

This year’s budget will see a significant decline in capital construction expenses as SEEDA concludes work on the Kennon building and turns its attention to planning for future development, Briggs previously told The Sheridan PressThe organization’s primary project this year will be a feasibility study investigating potential locations for the second phase of the High-Tech Business Park.

As the board looks to the future, it makes sense to consider ways to diversify and increase SEEDA’s revenue, board member Patrick Henderson said. Henderson brought up the possibility of requesting General Purpose Excise Tax dollars from Sheridan County as a potential supplement to existing revenue streams, which include rent from tenants and funding from the city of Sheridan.

“I’m just wondering if that’s something we want to look at,” Henderson said. “…It might be an opportunity where we can say ‘This is another tool we have.’”

Board member Walt Tribley agreed it would be a conversation worth having in the coming months.

“As Sheridan grows, like it or not, economic development opportunities should grow as well,” Tribley said. “And I think the county should definitely be a part of that.”

Board member Christi Haswell, who also serves on the Sheridan County Commission, said she was open to the conversation.

“I think the county’s definitely part of a larger (economic development) effort, for sure,” Haswell said. “Robert and I have only talked informally and briefly about it, but I think the county would definitely be open to the discussion.”

  • The board appointed its leadership for the next year with no changes from the previous year. Gary Koltiska will continue to serve as board chair with Sheridan Mayor Rich Bridger as vice-chair, Henderson as secretary and Haswell as treasurer.

Stephen Dow is a reporter at The Sheridan Press.