Our view: A risk worth taking

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— It's the flawed thinker who believes problematic issues can be solved solely by shoveling more money at them.

In this regard, the editorial board agrees with what seems to be the Moffat County Commission's current philosophy regarding the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership.

More money allocated to the organization won't necessarily cure the ills that seem to have bogged the organization the past several years, and there is no guarantee that the EDP will produce anything tangible to justify those funds.

However, completely withdrawing financial support from the EDP - a direction the three-member commission seems to be leaning toward - would hinder the EDP's ability to hire a full-time director and could cement the organization to second-rate status.

The editorial board believes this course of action would be a significant lapse in judgment by the commissioners.

The board concedes that the EDP has historically not been as productive in luring new businesses to Moffat County as the public and public officials would have liked. The board concedes that the thousands of dollars spent on the EDP by the city and county have far outweighed the results produced.

And, the editorial board agrees that EDP must be much more accountable to local governments and the taxpayers that provide part of its operating capital.

But, the board views it as a positive sign that in the re-organization the EDP has undergone in the past several months, it now appears group members have embraced this concept as well.

With the small sum the EDP is asking for, the board doesn't consider taking one more chance on the EDP as recklessly shoving money at a problem in hopes of an easy fix. Nor does the board believe funding EDP to be a huge gamble with far-reaching ramifications should it turn sour.

If anything, we view the group's funding as a low-risk wager with the potential to pay huge dividends down the line.

Cutting off the EDP allowance now, given the organization's renewed sense of purpose, the relatively paltry sum it is asking for, and the fact that no other entity has stated a willingness to fill the economic development void, would be a mistake. That decision would greatly hinder our area's ability to recruit new businesses.

Should the commission decide to eliminate the EDP funding, the editorial board considers it a near certainty the county will get exactly what it paid for - zilch.

In contrast to what some on the commission may believe - that economic development should be left solely to a free market to decide - the reality of today's business environment is more complex. Economic development demands at least one, if not several, organizations, policies and, yes, incentives geared toward attracting new industries and businesses.

Without this effort, Moffat County will get what it gets, not what it wants.

Is giving the EDP more money a gamble? Sure, but a gamble with a relatively low risk, and one work taking.

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