EDP OKs action plan

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The Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors is going to make sure it gives the 23 members it added this month -- and all the others -- a reason to stay.

The board approved a new action plan Wednesday that was more defined than its previous one. The board met for a six-hour strategic planning session last month.

Strategies were narrowed to four categories: develop a community economic vision; take advantage of existing attributes such as resource-based opportunities; enhance regional infrastructure and an improved work force; and enhance economic development programs such as downtown revitalization and growing local businesses.

Several projects identified on the EDP action plan are still in the works. One is securing a second round of U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for additional technical assistance projects. Grants should be identified by June 30.

EDP Executive Director Tom Flavin is working with city and county officials to complete a regional competitiveness assessment. That project is on schedule for completion by Jan. 31 and will give the EDP direction on future projects, namely: What needs to be changed to make Moffat County more competitive and what attributes can be built upon.

Other goals include collaborating with Club 20 on funding for rural transportation projects and developing a proposal for funding a long-term economic diversification strategy for Moffat County. The deadline for both those goals has been set at March 31.

Flavin attended Wednesday's Downtown Business Association meeting to talk about key considerations in successful efforts. He stressed that any successful effort is a long-term process that needed a strong community commitment to the effort.

"We've determined we're going to take an advocacy role, so I think anything we can do to support (the association's) efforts, we can," board member Jerry Thompson said.

The EDP, he said, supports downtown revitalization and will engage in the public dialogue.

By March 31, an assessment of downtown revitalization options should be complete.

The EDP name and purpose will be more widely recognized when the board's communication committee gets rolling -- and funded.

Several ideas have come out of that committee's brainstorming, including newspaper, radio and television spots on a monthly topic, discussion among key players -- the Chamber of Commerce, EDP and Moffat County Tourism Association, for example -- about their roles, the creation of a resource guide and paid advertising or the development of a newsletter.

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