NACo team proposes Chief Economic Champion | CraigDailyPress.com

NACo team proposes Chief Economic Champion

Patrick Kelly

On Tuesday, Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe presented an update on the effort to create economic diversity in Craig to his fellow commissioners and Craig City Council.

The goal is to create a "Chief Economic Champion" for Moffat County and Craig to specifically focus on business recruitment. A 5 percent increase in lodging tax would pay for the position, but voters would have to approve a marketing district tax in November.

Anyone staying over 30 days would be exempt from the tax.

Moe spoke on behalf of the team of Moffat County representatives who attended the National Association of Counties' Innovation Challenge in Kentucky in late April.

Moe explained at Tuesday morning's Moffat County Commissioner's meeting that bringing sufficient economic development to Craig will be a collaborative effort between Moffat County Commissioners, Craig City Council, Craig Moffat Economic Development Partnership, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association, Downtown Business Association and any other interested party.

The number one goal of the joint effort is to diversify the local economy while strengthening the existing energy industry.

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"We wanted to really emphasize how important our local energy industries are to us now, and in the future, but it's prudent to diversify your economy," Moe said.

With that goal in mind, said Moe, the next objective is to get all the different entities in sync.

To help achieve this goal, the NACo team has proposed the addition of a "Chief Economic Champion."

Moe said that the champion would help collaborate and coordinate development, and most importantly implement actual strategies.

"This person would be a grant writer for economic development, diversification and tourism to obtain additional funding to implement," Moe said, adding the champion needs to specialize in business recruitment.

The champion would also be responsible for providing monthly updates to any collaborating agency invested in the economic development of Moffat County.

According to Moe, the community would only need to vote for the approval of a local marketing district in order to move forward with hiring an economic champion.

A four percent tax, in addition to the 1.9 percent collected by MCTA, on local lodging would pay for the new local marketing district and champion.

The NACo team consists of Craig Moffat County Economic Development Chair Jay Oxley; Commissioner Frank Moe; Superintendent of Moffat County School District Brent Curtice; Colorado Northwestern Community College President Russell George; Craig Mayor Ray Beck; and The Memorial Hospital CEO John Rossfeld.

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