Economic development cannot be put on hold

With the Craig Chamber of Commerce luncheon bringing area economic development back into the limelight, Moffat County leaders would do well in heeding the underlying message of the event -- don't wait too long in finding an economic development director.

The Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership, which is funded through private and public money, has limped along since the resignation of its director, Wallace Ralston. Ralston left amid threats of termination by the partnership's board of directors, which also believed during the crisis that its bylaws were vague and thought it was unclear as to who could or could not vote.

A representative of the governor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade told chamber members this week that the area next year "could get on a list" of state entities waiting for business assessment studies when and if a replacement for Ralston is found.

State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, who also was in town this week, said while he believes communities such as Moffat County deserve energy impact funds from the state, he hinted that he had no idea if or when those funds would be forthcoming.

While niether state official said it in so many words, we believe the message to Moffat County is clear: In the current climate of a sluggish economy, you will have to rely on your own strengths for any sort of economic development.

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