Craig-Moffat EDP identifies diversification as a primary goal |

Craig-Moffat EDP identifies diversification as a primary goal

Scott Schlaufman

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership is organizing priorities for the year.

"If you think about Craig a year ago, we were in a completely different world than we are now because we didn't have all these perceived threats and all the things that are going on right now," EDP Board Chairman Scott Cook said during the organization's meeting Wednesday at the Moffat County Courthouse.

"It's really interesting to me how our local economy and diversifying our economy has really gone up the list of concerns that people have."

EDP members began discussions Wednesday on primary goals for the organization this year, including identifying and creating opportunities for attracting new businesses, diversifying Moffat County's economic base, and creating opportunities for new businesses.

EDP Executive Director Darcy Owens-Trask said the primary goal behind diversification is different than supporting the regulatory environment of the county's core businesses, which EDP has done regarding Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.

Owens-Trask said providing regulatory support helps create opportunities for new businesses in the primary economic base.

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"Any time we're doing something to promote our primary industries, in some ways we're working towards attracting and growing," she said.

Another EDP priority is to provide assistance to sustain, expand or improve profitability of existing local businesses.

Because EDP has saved money from previous years, the organization could expand services this year, although doing so would require dipping into a reserve fund each month, Owens-Trask said.

EDP Board member Chris Jones also presented information during Wednesday's meeting about a Jan. 15 meeting in Fruita with Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Eleven counties were invited to meet with the new governor about economic development, and Moffat County sent several representatives, including Jones, Owens-Trask, and Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner.

Jones reviewed information on the state's bottom-up economic development strategy, which involves each county creating an economic development plan that is then incorporated into regional and statewide plans.

EDP also received a presentation Wednesday on oil and gas activity from Jeff Comstock, Moffat County director of natural resources.

A full story on Comstock's presentation will appear in the Saturday Morning Press.

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