Craig/Moffat County EDP to examine building processes

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At a glance

• Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership conducting BUILD survey, which will ask local businesses and contractors about their experience with the local building process.

• EDP director Darcy Trask said other EDP surveys and public comments have indicated there may be concerns or problems with the building process.

• The survey will be mailed Thursday to about 150 businesses and contractors and the results of the survey will be available Oct. 11.

• Businesses receiving a survey will be asked about their experiences with city and county planning and zoning, as well as local utilities, among others.

• The survey will have participants rate their experiences bases on involvement with rules and regulations, customer service and the overall process.

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership will soon conduct a survey aimed at examining the local planning and building process through the eyes of construction companies and contractors.

The surveys are part of EDP’s BUILD project, which seeks to understand the customer experience for users of local gas and electric utilities, city and county planning, and other organizations builders may do business with, according to a news release.

EDP hopes to determine if building processes and organizations are efficient and easy to work with, according to the release.

“(EDP’s) job is to make sure doing business here is as simple as possible,” EDP director Darcy Trask said in the release. “Although the national recession is impacting the amount of commercial building going on right now, we know we will recover, and when we do, there will be strong demand again for new and remodeled commercial buildings.

“We are taking this slower … as an opportunity to find out what the experience has been like for those who have been through it in the past so that we can be ready for the future.”

EDP plans to send the survey Thursday to about 150 businesses that have used the local building process in the last several years.

Answers from the survey will be collected and organized into a summary, which will be presented to local governments, building entities and made available to the public. Individual responses to the survey will be kept confidential, Trask said.

The idea for the BUILD survey came from another EDP survey called the Listening to Business survey, which asked about a variety of topics, including building, planning and infrastructure, according to the release.

From the answers provided in the survey, EDP decided to launch the BUILD surveys because “there were some areas of potential concern, and it was clear we needed to ask additional questions,” according to the release.

Trask said both the Listening to Business survey and public comments indicate there was some “dissatisfaction with the building processes.”

“One of the things we would like to get to the bottom of is if that is a few people that have had an unusual experience and are frustrated with it, or if it is indicative of a bigger problem,” she said. “A lot of time, until you get some information from the silent majority, you don’t know that.”

The survey will also help EDP to understand which areas of the local building processes are working well and which areas may need improvement, according to the release.

The survey asks participants to rank their experience with local providers of natural gas, propane, telephone and data lines, electricity, water, construction waste, septic, and railroads. It also asks about the Moffat County and Craig building departments, building codes, and planning and zoning departments.

Businesses that receive the survey are also asked to rate three levels of the building process — rules and regulations such as building codes, customer service and the overall process.

The three levels EDP is asking businesses to rate will help the organization locate where any problems may be, Trask said.

“If we find out that customer service and the process are working great, but a rule is the problem, it depends on (us) as a community, if we want the rule, if it is a government rule,” she said. “If it is a private business rule … those may or may not change.

“So, we want to try to get a handle on exactly where there are concerns, if there are concerns because there is no sense in trying to fix a customer service problem if it is really a process problem.”

The survey also allows for businesses to write in their own comments about the various organizations.

“It is our hope that the entire community will then use the survey results to make processes as timely, efficient and friendly as they can be to encourage a strong local business community and thereby, a strong local economy,” the release states.

The deadline for businesses to return the survey is Sept. 20, and the results of the survey will be made public Oct. 11. There will be two BUILD survey information sessions hosted by EDP for those seeking more information.

The first session will be from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9, and the second from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Sept. 15.

Both sessions will be in the second-floor conference room of the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way. Call Trask at 756-1885 to RSVP.

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