EDP asks county for grant support | CraigDailyPress.com
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EDP asks county for grant support

Competition concerns local officials

Collin Smith

In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, a bid award from Craig-based Osmun for $17,380 to seal coat the Moffat County Public Safety Center parking lot. It was the low bid submitted.

The county budgeted $14,000 for the project, but the city agreed to contribute $4,000, and the Colorado State Patrol agreed to put in $4,500. Both agencies also are housed within the Safety Center.

• Approved, 2-0, a $142,816.50 bid from Connell Resources to put a two-inch overlay on the Craig/Moffat County Airport. It was the low bid submitted for the project, which is partially funded by the city, county and Federal Aviation Administration.

• Approved, 3-0, board appointments for the county Planning and Zoning Commission, Area Agency on Aging Council and Moffat County Tourism Association.

The commission appointed Carol Scott to planning and zoning as second alternate and Randy Morton as third alternate.

Mary Morris was appointed to the Aging Council's third seat, and Jean Jones was appointed as an alternate.

For the MCTA, current board alternate Elisa Hayes was appointed to fill a vacated board seat, and new board applicant Ken Millikin was appointed as an alternate.

In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, a bid award from Craig-based Osmun for $17,380 to seal coat the Moffat County Public Safety Center parking lot. It was the low bid submitted.

The county budgeted $14,000 for the project, but the city agreed to contribute $4,000, and the Colorado State Patrol agreed to put in $4,500. Both agencies also are housed within the Safety Center.

• Approved, 2-0, a $142,816.50 bid from Connell Resources to put a two-inch overlay on the Craig/Moffat County Airport. It was the low bid submitted for the project, which is partially funded by the city, county and Federal Aviation Administration.

• Approved, 3-0, board appointments for the county Planning and Zoning Commission, Area Agency on Aging Council and Moffat County Tourism Association.

The commission appointed Carol Scott to planning and zoning as second alternate and Randy Morton as third alternate.

Mary Morris was appointed to the Aging Council’s third seat, and Jean Jones was appointed as an alternate.

For the MCTA, current board alternate Elisa Hayes was appointed to fill a vacated board seat, and new board applicant Ken Millikin was appointed as an alternate.

— Three new grants equal three new opportunities as far as Darcy Trask is concerned.

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership director hopes the Moffat County Commission feels the same way.

Trask presented three draft support letters at the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday in hopes that county executives would sign their names and lend the county’s support to EDP’s proposals.

All of the grant requests are to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development branch.

They are:

• $13,000 for a feasibility study for a local entrepreneur’s proposed light manufacturing business, with a 25-percent match paid for by the business owner.

• $20,000 to $25,000 for a feasibility study for a business incubator, with a 25-percent match paid by EDP.

• $15,000 for a feasibility study for a new, privately-owned medical office park, with a 25-percent match paid for by the unnamed company.

Trask said she could not give specific details about the prospective developer – other than it is based out of state, and the federal government classifies it as a small business – because of confidentiality agreements.

No county dollars would be required for any of the grants, if they are approved.

However, Trask said the commissioners should be aware that signing their names to any of the separate grant applications means they approve of and support the specific project involved.

She added she did not want the commission to sign anything without giving due consideration and agreed to attend its next meeting July 14 for final decisions.

Commissioner Tom Mathers’ first concern with the feasibility study for the local entrepreneur was whether his business – details of which also were kept partially confidential – would compete with an already existing business.

Trask responded that no, the potential business would sell its product nationally and internationally, and not be a direct competitor for anyone local.

Competition concerns stretched into the discussion surrounding a possible business incubator, a small space with trained advisers and commercial/office equipment to house start-up companies and help get them off he ground.

“I don’t want to sit in front of (Commissioner) Tom Gray here today and say we’ll never compete with private industry,” Trask said. “You can’t really fill a business incubator if you’re so rigid that you say, ‘We’ll only accept : manufacturing that doesn’t compete.'”

The commissioners should feel comfortable approving a feasibility study, which will only provide more information for a better discussion of the surrounding issues later, she added.

If the study’s projections say there is enough demand to create 200 jobs in seven years, the community can decide if that’s worth the cost to build, Trask said.

Unease about competing with local businesses also came up regarding the final grant request for a private medical office building.

The Memorial Hospital has stated it would be interested in building its own medical offices within a few years, after the new hospital is built on Craig’s west side. The county owns the hospital building and appoints its board of directors.

Without endorsing the development, Trask encouraged the commission to be open-minded about the proposal.

Health care is sometimes considered a primary business, she said, which means it pays employees a large enough wage to buy a home and raise a family if they choose.

Moffat County may want more well-paying jobs, and dismissing such an opportunity may be a mistake, Trask said.


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