Good news for Moffat County announced at Chamber mixer | CraigDailyPress.com

Good news for Moffat County announced at Chamber mixer

Patrick Kelly

At Thursday’s Craig Chamber of Commerce mixer, supporters of the Moffat County Local Marketing District had a big announcement to make.

Moffat County has been approved for a $100,000 Economic Development Administration grant to develop an implementable plan and conduct a market study on how the county can best raise its economy.

LMD advocate Dave DeRose revealed the news to a room full of about 70 people at the Hampton Inn & Suites. The crowd had drawn to show support or learn more about the ballot measures coming up for a vote in November.

"With that kind of horsepower to get this going, we can then draft a plan and use the dollars if we pass this … to start really working that plan and bringing more and more economic development to our community," DeRose said.

Ballot measure 5A establishes an LMD that would levy a 4 percent tax on rooms and accommodations in Moffat County. The projected revenue from the tax is $275,000 in the first year. The funds can be used for promoting tourism, supporting business recruitment, management and development, and organizing public events.

The Embroidery Shoppe's Rodney Beason was in attendance and said he supported any efforts made by the county to diversify its economy and be less reliant on coal, which has a precarious future.

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"One of these days they're going to get enough votes in Washington to get rid of coal and we need to be prepared for that, otherwise this town's going to dry up and blow away," he said.

The EDA grant was not the only development in the countywide effort for economic diversity announced at the Chamber mixer.

Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership Director Audrey Danner said several federal agencies, such as the EDA, Department of Commerce and the Department of Energy have offered to send representatives to Craig at the beginning of November.

The federal representatives would meet with local government leaders, Moffat County Tourism Association, CMEDP and the Chamber to discuss what resources they can bring to Northwest Colorado.

"This complements the very significant $100,000 grant that we received," Danner said.

Danner also explained ballot measures 1A and 2A to the audience. The measures ask voters whether the city and county may reestablish the legal ability to provide telecommunication services by overriding Senate Bill 05-152.

"This is not a tax, it does not cost us anything," she said. "This is to set 2005 legislation aside and say, 'we do want our local government leaders at the discussion table with private providers' … this is not about local government starting their own telecom monopoly."

After the announcements, attendees who wanted to learn more had the opportunity to speak with the government officials, board directors and community members who have been supporting the ballot measures.

There were also large pieces of paper placed on the wall where individuals could write down their thoughts on different aspects of the economic diversification process.

"This is action," said Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe. "We're putting things into action and people will be able to measure the action and see the results."

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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