Bar Nunn scored funding for a long sought-after interchange on Interstate 25 after a state board allocated $1 million for the project, according to a news release from the Wyoming Business Council on Thursday.

Now the growing town north of Casper needs to find another $2 million to realize the project, the news release said.

The State Loan and Investment Board partially approved the Business Council's recommendation to fund interchange during a meeting Thursday when it also approved four other projects. The total amount of grants amounted to nearly $4.8 million.

For nearly five years, Bar Nunn has been looking at an interchange that would be located between the Wardwell and Ormsby exits.

This year, the town requested a $3 million "community readiness" grant to construct two on-ramps and two off-ramps at I-25 Interstate 25 and Westwinds Road.

The improved access from I-25 would provide potential for commercial and industrial development that will add jobs and amenities. The interchange will also improve access to the Casper Logistics Hub, the Casper/Natrona County International Airport, and the Bar Nunn Industrial Park. The park has a new 30,000 square-foot spec building.

The State Loan and Investment Board approved partial funding of $1 million. To get that, Natrona County and the Wyoming Department of Transportation must agree to change its priorities for other WYDOT projects in the county to provide the additional $2 million for the project.

In another community readiness grant, the board approved partial funding of $2,452,104 of a $2,957,434 grant request from Sundance to renovate Old Stoney, a historic school building near downtown.

The renovated building will become the home of the Crook County Museum and Cultural Center. It also will provide 2,400 square feet of rental space for local businesses and events. The project is expected to create six part-time jobs.

The State Loan and Investment Board fully funded a $748,360 "business committed" grant request from Cody. The money will pay for a  3,517 square-foot expansion of the Wyoming Authentic Products facility for preparation, packaging and smoker capacity.

The expansion will allow the company to add 10 jobs by 2020. Wyoming Authentic Products expects the expansion to increase production 163 percent and grow market reach to 10,000 U.S. outlets by December 2018.

Powell withdrew its application for a $435,400 grant for a building for drone manufacturing facility for GT Aeronautics. Town officials remain interested in the unmanned aircraft industry. They hope Powell is the first general aviation airport in the country that allows for simultaneous operations.

The State Loan and Investment Board fully funded a $500,000 "community enhancement" grant request from the Casper-Natrona County Economic Development Joint Powers Board to build a 4,068 square-foot building for maintenance, storage, equipment, guest services and restrooms on the east side of the David Street Station plaza.

The board also fully funded a $44,000 community enhancement grant request from Sheridan to conduct a study that identifies renewable energy opportunities for high-tech business recruitment and expansion.

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