Economic champion position discussed by Craig City Council, Moffat County Commissioners and LMD | CraigDailyPress.com
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Economic champion position discussed by Craig City Council, Moffat County Commissioners and LMD

Patrick Kelly

Local government is hoping to provide some suggestions to the Moffat County Local Marketing District’s freshly appointed operating board.

At recent meetings, the Board of Moffat County Commissioners and Craig City Council discussed potential recommendations for the board, including projects to pursue and the possibility of hiring a board director or “economic champion.”

“At the last meeting they said they wanted to reach out to city, county and town (of Dinosaur) so there was commonality and consensus,” Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe said.

Official statements outlining the recommendations have not been approved or issued to the LMD, but at their Aug. 25 meeting the county commissioners picked some ideas from the assessment performed by the economic-development firm Better City.

The commissioners agreed to combine artisan textile manufacturing, the industrial park and incubators as the first priority followed by downtown mixed-use development.

Also a part of the recommendations to the LMD discussed was the idea of hiring an “economic champion” that would help link all the entities pursing economic diversification stay on the same page.

“Somebody to work together with all of the groups that have anything to do with economic development so there is somebody that is working on it 24 hours a day, not literally, but that’s their main purpose,” Moe said.

Moe said getting the different groups out of “silos” would be the job of the economic champion.

The idea of hiring a champion was first proposedThe idea of hiring a champion was first proposed upon the return of a team of community members from the National Association of County’s Innovation Challenge in 2015. upon the return of a team of community members from the National Association of County’s Innovation Challenge in 2015.

The idea of hiring a champion was first proposed upon the return of a team of community members from the National Association of County’s Innovation Challenge in 2015.

Craig City Council also discussed the idea of an economic champion but has not made any official recommendations to the LMD’s operating board.

“When you think about other organizations that we have, there’s hardly ever just a board that runs that organization,” Craig Mayor Ray Beck said. “Having a director, if you would, would make sense.”

Both Beck and Moe said that the decision to fund that position would be left to the LMD’s operating board and would be something that occurs several years from now.

LMD Secretary Dave DeRose said right now the board is trying to complete the budget and operating plan it is required by law to have completed by the end of the month.

“I’m pretty well consumed in trying to figure out the plan and the budget right now,” DeRose said. “I’m not even looking that far ahead.”

Echoing DeRose, LMD Vice President Kirstie McPherson said she believes the economic champion is something the board will pursue, but not for some time.

McPherson said the champion would help maintain communication between groups pursuing economic development.

“That’s the whole plan of what the LMD is trying to accomplish right now — no longer allowing those silos in this community,” she said.

Voters approved the taxing district in November 2016, by a vote of 1,678 in favor to 1,553 opposed, passing it by a 3.8 percent margin.

The LMD imposes a 4 percent lodging tax across Moffat County. The funds collected from the tax can be used for promoting tourism, supporting business recruitment, management and development and organizing public events.

As of mid-August, the LMD has collected $87,068 and is expected to bring in around $200,000 by year’s end.

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.


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