City and county commit $10,000 each to economic development | CraigDailyPress.com

City and county commit $10,000 each to economic development

Janelle O'Dea

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership received good news from both Craig City Council and Moffat County Commissioners last week.

Craig City Council and the Moffat County Commissioners committed $10,000 each to CMEDP.

Although the commissioners are unsure of the return on their investment in CMEDP, they already committed to providing the money three years ago.

"We felt like we were committed, because it was a three year commitment," Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers said.

"The return on the investment just hasn't been there," added Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid.

City Manager Jim Ferree said Craig City Council was in a similar situation.

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"I think the city council felt like they were obligated to help with that grant from the state," Ferree said.

Mayor Terry Carwile confirmed Craig City Council did also commit to provide matching funds for a grant from Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

The grant provides funds to keep CMEDP running and pay the salaries of part-time employees.

Audrey Danner, current director of CMEDP, said the organization does not have all of its funding commitments for 2015 yet, but she is currently working on securing them.

"The rest of the funding is up in the air," Carwile said. "There's no spot in the budget for the economic development partnership other than (the grant money)."

Carwile said the city council is not opposed to funding other economic development opportunities if they became available.

Mathers said the county commissioners also open to providing money for other economic development opportunities.

"If something really substantial came to town, some confirmed payroll and jobs, that's something maybe the city and county might be able to help with," Ferree said. "Something like that might be in the cards at a future date if a business comes to town."

"When the occasion occurs we'll have some money to put towards it," Mathers said.

Carwile said after the Dec. 3 "Building a Foundation for Economic Development" presentation given by Frank Gray of Castle Rock and John Cody of Thornton, he took mental note of the importance of broadband.

"Some people think the marketplace should take care of that," Carwile said. "But you know in my mind if we can jump-start something and help the private sector and not have it hamstrung by an absence of some critical thing like broadband, if we can reasonably do something like that I'd like us to be a participant in that."

Danner said the business center continues to see traffic, and CMEDP provides essential services.

“Economic development is, as we heard on Dec. 3, and as others have reported to us, an important function within the community,” Danner said. “Our activities support the basic business structure of our community.”

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @jayohday