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JACKSON — A request for $810,000 in state economic development grant money to help bring a private technology firm to Jackson is drawing objections.

The State Loan and Investment Board, which will meet Thursday to determine whether to approve the grant, has received letters opposed to using public money for the proposal by Imagine Jackson, a community development organization.

State Rep. Pete Jorgensen, D-Jackson, questioned using the Wyoming Business Council grant to help "a healthy business venture in the most expensive real estate market in Wyoming," according to his letter to the board.

Jackson lawyer Peter Moyer, who is running for a state legislative seat, stated in a separate letter that the proposal "is a very direct subsidy for a private business operation."

The Jackson Town Council this month adopted a formal agreement with Imagine Jackson to apply for the grant money to buy the 1,708-square-foot building. Imagine Jackson will lease the building to Square One Systems Design, a firm specializing in development of robotic research systems.

Town Councilor Mark Obringer, who serves as Imagine Jackson's executive director, and his fellow councilors say the proposal will create high-paying jobs and diversify Teton County's job market.

Square One must create a minimum of eight jobs worth at least $348,000 in additional payroll within three years of occupancy of the building, according to the contract.

The Wyoming Business Council has recommended that the State Loan and Investment Board approve the grant request.

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