Economic development firm presents proposals to Moffat County |

Economic development firm presents proposals to Moffat County

The economic development firm contracted by Moffat County has completed its assessment and returned to the commissioners with suggestions.

Better City was hired at a cost of $81,890 by the Moffat County Board of Commissioners to evaluate the county’s economic strengths and weaknesses before producing a final action plan.

The recommendations returned include specific projects that can be implemented by the county as well as a cost sharing initiative between the city of Craig and Moffat County. The commissioners accepted the recommendations at their Tuesday morning meeting.

Better City’s top five initiatives are revitalizing the downtown area and taking advantage of the Yampa River, constructing a themed park at Dinosaur National Monument, creating an industrial park, developing the county’s textile industry through the abundance of sheep herding and initiating aquaculture opportunities.

Consolidating services with the city of Craig to save money was also a big part of Better City’s final recommendation.

Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid said lots exciting ideas have been proposed and the economic diversification process must continue to be a community effort.

“We’re still going to have to pace ourselves in how we move forward,” he said. “We want to all go forward together as a community — the school district, the college the hospital, the city, the county.”

Last October, the county was awarded $50,000 from the Economic Development Administration under President Barack Obama’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization, or POWER, Initiative.

The match portion of the grant broke down to $25,000 from Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $7,000 from the county and $18,000 through in-kind support, which comes from labor donated by city an county workers.

Throughout the process, Better City representatives consulted elected officials and representatives of the community in order to evaluate the economic needs of the community. Continuing the discussion is an important component of completing their plan.

“If we really want to transition, the next phase is to go out in the broader community,” Better City Southwest Regional Director Jason Godfrey said.

Frank Moe said the community input was an important part of the scoping and he believes Better City was able to use that information to evaluate Moffat County’s needs, consider solutions and provide realistic opportunities for growth.

He also emphasized the importance of community cooperation and resilience.

“Approaching it from a community standpoint, not just government,” he said.

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

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