CMEDP remains operational, optimistic despite decreased funding | CraigDailyPress.com

CMEDP remains operational, optimistic despite decreased funding

Patrick Kelly

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development PartnershipCraig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership will continue to operate in 2016, despite its traditional budget requests being denied by both the city and the county. will continue to operate in 2016, despite its traditional budget requests being denied by both the city and the county.

Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership will continue to operate in 2016, despite its traditional budget requests being denied by both the city and the county.

"We will approach them again," said CMEDP Director Audrey Danner, explaining that funding on specific projects is still available from either governmental agency.

Though the Moffat County Commissioners and Craig City Council did not specifically fund CMEDP, both entities have funds set aside for their own economic development.

Danner said the board was thrifty with budgeting in 2015 and the resulting reserves, about $92,000, will be used in 2016.

"We have savings from this year, we have reserves and we will use those and move forward on our goals," she said.

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In October, CMEDP collaborated with the Moffat County Tourism Association and Craig Chamber of Commerce on how to focus efforts and avoid redundancies. Danner said CMEDP would be able to meet its 2016 goals under the new constraints — "As long as the budget allows."

In a tied 3-3 vote, Craig City Council denied CMEDP $35,000 in funding for 2016. Instead of allocating the money to CMEDP, the council put it in a city economic development fund to distribute in 2016 as it sees fit. Councilor Kent Neilson was absent from the vote.

The county fluctuates in its contributions to CMEDP, but this year no funds were specifically provided.

In 2015, CMEDP received $20,000 in funding between Craig and Moffat County with $10,000 from each entity. In 2014, the county provided $30,000 to CMEDP and the city gave $25,000. City and county contributions were the same in 2013.

"We've got to tighten up in all categories," said Councilor Derek Duran, city liaison to CMEDP. "It's not that we're not willing to fund or support CMEDP, it's just that we're to the point that we need to see more of a project basis before the rest of the council is willing to hand funds out."

Jay Oxley, CMEDP board chair, said the partnership plans to approach the government agencies for funding on a project-by-project basis, a move he thinks is a good thing that will drive up collaboration across the county.

"Everybody has to get on board and work toward the same goals," he said. "We haven't had that, and I think that's what we're working toward."

Oxley said he has concerns on transparency between agencies but is optimistic about future collaboration.

Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe, county liaison to CMEDP, said the city, county, MCTA, chamber and CMEDP working together is key in moving forward with economic development.

"One mission, one goal, one team," he said.

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