CACHE COUNTY – The Cache County Council has approved an 11-member panel to serve as the county’s economic development advisory board.
Appointment of that board is the first step toward claiming a $200,000 grant from Utah’s new Rural County Grant Program. That funding will be available in the fiscal year beginning July 1 and Cache County will also be eligible to compete for additional grants in the future.
The advisory board members confirmed by the county council members on June 9 are Jamie Andrus, the director of the Cache Chamber of Commerce; David Zook, the city manager of Nibley; Kirk Jensen, the economic development director for Logan City; Brian Carver from the Bear River Association of Governments; Gina Worthen, from the Cache County Council; Bruce Lee, a North Logan city council member; Cache County Executive Craig Buttars; Mark Alexander, from the Bridgerland Technical College; Chase Anderson, president of Silicon Slopes; Vicki Fenton, from the Utah Department of Workforce Services; and Paul Borup, from the Cache County Council.
The state’s Rural County Grant Program was established by the passage of Senate Bill 95 during the 2020 General Session of the Legislature. That measure – sponsored by Sen. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton – was intended to address a widening gulf in commercial growth between Utah’s rural and metropolitan areas.
To begin adjusting the balance of Utah’s economic development, Senate Bill 95 created a pair of taxpayer-supported grant programs for the state’s rural counties, totaling $10 million each year. Each of Utah’s 24 counties would receive at least $200,000, with the option to compete for up to $1 million that would go toward locally developed projects.
Funding for the Rural County Grant Program is being reallocated from the now-defunct Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR).