Better City presenting projects across Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com

Better City presenting projects across Moffat County

Patrick Kelly

Jason Godfrey, economic development director at Better City, takes notes as community members provide feedback on some of his firm's proposed economic development projects.

The economic development firm contracted by Moffat County at the beginning of the year has identified several strategic projects that it hopes will be catalysts for local economic growth.

Now, it is presenting its ideas to the community and opening them up to discussion with a series of open house meetings.

Better City, an Ogden, Utah-based firm specializing in implementing business strategies and revitalizing regional economies hosted the first of several opportunities to hear its suggestions on Tuesday morning at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig.

Better City's top six initiatives are revitalizing the downtown area and taking advantage of the Yampa River, constructing a themed park in Dinosaur, creating an industrial park, developing artisan textile manufacturing, bringing in a manufacturing incubator and initiating aquaculture opportunities.

According to Better City's Phase III report, "The project recommendations build on the findings from the industry analysis and are designed to give sufficient information for Moffat County's stakeholders to make decisions on which to prioritize."

Better City Economic Development Director Jason Godfrey said his team is now looking for "explicit feedback" on the proposals.

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"We adamantly encourage you to come up, spend some times and give us your ideas and ask questions," he said. "That's really critical to this process."

On Wednesday, presentations will take place at 8 a.m. at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, 3 p.m. at Dinosaur Town Hall and 6 p.m. at Maybell Community Center.

Godfrey said after the public scoping is completed, it would be up to the county commissioners to select which projects to hone in on first.

Once the projects are narrowed down, Better City will proceed with feasibility studies before starting to work on implementation of the projects and reaching out to the private sector.

"We're practitioners as well as strategists," Godfrey said.

In January, the commissioners contracted Better City, at a cost of $81,890, to spend about one year studying the entire county's economic strengths and weaknesses before producing a final action plan.

The funding for Better City's work comes primarily from a $50,000 Economic Development Administration grant under President Barack Obama's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization, or POWER, Initiative.

The county's match portion of the grant was $25,000 from Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $7,000 from the county and $18,000 through in-kind support.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.