Audrey Danner: Strategic planning and its importance |

Audrey Danner: Strategic planning and its importance

Audrey Danner

Making a plan for the future is essential. Then the hard work begins.

The CMEDP Board has been working on a long-term strategic plan during 2015, and we are ready to begin the hard work to make our goals a reality.

This fall, we collaborated with the Craig Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and Moffat County Tourism Association in creating a three organization, cohesive Moffat County Economic Plan.

This plan is now incorporated into the individual plans of each organization and will be reviewed quarterly. We believe this integrated plan is a unique way to create effective economic development that will support our community.

During the October CMEDP board meeting, the members agreed that: A shared vision and essential infrastructure are the basis of future development and strong business with jobs that support our community. Those are our guiding words as we prepare to implement our plans in 2016. We want to share those goals with you and welcome your feedback and participation in strengthening the business climate in Moffat County. Please look for an overview of those actionable goals in my January column.

But first, let me provide some background of what we've accomplished over the past few months as a foundation for this future cooperative work.

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Recently, representatives from CMEDP, the chamber and MCTA met with Luis Benitez, director of the newly established Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. With input and support from Benitez and his office, we will develop recreation interests in our community that allow for residents and visitors to enjoy being out of doors while protecting our resources. Watch for news from MCTA as it leads this effort with the combined support of CMEDP and the Chamber.

A consistent request from businesses is to improve cell phone coverage and improve broadband services. Following the ballot initiatives for the successful override of SB 05-152 in both the city and the county, we worked with the city of Craig as they submitted a broadband planning grant to assess our telecommunication needs and infrastructure. If awarded, this grant will offer constructive options for local government, private telecom industry and businesses as they consider how to build our telecom infrastructure for future broadband services. Several organizations wrote a letter of support for this broadband planning effort and contributed funds to reduce the local government matching amount typically due with a grant of this type. The welcome financial support of local businesses and agencies emphasizes the need to have this essential infrastructure in our community for business, residents and organizations to provide services and receive information.

The Local Marketing District ballot issue was also successful in the November election. We were pleased to work with our community partners to encourage voters to pass this important step toward our future. We also look forward to working side-by-side with our local government and agency colleagues in bringing this vision to fruition.

Christina Oxley, Craig Chamber executive director, and I will create a combined effort to meet with and survey our local businesses in the coming year. Each organization meets with some business and industry each year, but we believe our working together on this project will produce a list of services we can further provide business that will foster economic growth in our area.

Thank you for your support throughout 2015, and we look forward to working with you more in the coming year! Call the CMEDP office at 970-620-4370 to let us know how we are meeting goals that help your business.