By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

The Riverton Economic and Community Development Association (RECDA) held its scheduled meeting at the Sundowner Restaurant Wednesday morning.  The meeting was well attended and topics included The new structure of the Riverton Chamber of Commerce as they blend with the Riverton Ambassadors for a united effort to further the cities economic strength, and the impact that sales tax revenues have on the community. 

Janet Winslow, Chamber of Commerce Director and Bethany Baldes, chamber president, explained the joining of The Riverton Ambassadors and the Riverton Chamber and the impact it will have on the community. The two combined will be a stronger and much more effective group that will focus on the business owners and logistics of events and projects within the business community. 

Mayor Richard Gard offered some insight as to the use of and the continued need for the One-Half percent Economic Development sales tax. He said Central Wyoming Regional Airport in Riverton, through the Fremont Air Service Team (FAST), is working to improve commercial passenger flights incoming and outbound for the foreseeable future.  SkyWest Airlines will continue the flight to and from Denver as long as their financial needs are met according to a contract agreement, which was just renewed for another year. This effort requires the use of funds from that tax for a revenue guarantee for the airline. The airport generates approximately 23 million dollars in revenue to the city and that money continues to support projects like the new hospital. “Without the airport, Riverton would survive, but it wouldn’t be easy,” said Gard. “The annual tax costs each person approximately $40.00 a year,” said Kevin Kershisnik of IDEA,Inc Riverton’s Economic Development Arm.  It was also mentioned that Riverton might see a return of a second flight each day as early as this fall is passenger numbers hold and jet fuel prices decline.

Finally, in anticipation of the August 16th Primary Election, the Chamber is planning to host a Fremont County Commissioners Forum. The event would allow each candidate to share their views and plans for Fremont County and its residents. This event would hopefully be scheduled soon. Watch, The Ranger, Lander Journal and the Wind River News for more information.