EDP Board members keep moving ahead
Donna Fleetwood’s fledging business is one example of work being done by the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership.
Thanks to a government grant, the local business group passed some needed money to help Donna and Otis Fleetwood jump-start their Kriegco Waste-water Systems business — a wastewater recycling venture that should garner a large chunk of business from area mines and oil-drilling operations.
“I was at a standstill when I came to them,” Donna said about requesting an allocation from the EDP’s grant. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
The EDP is in charge of distributing a $50,000 U.S. Depart-ment of Agriculture grant, of which the Fleetwood’s business snared $6,000 for recruiting top-notch employees and marketing. If the business is successful, Fleetwood estimates the business may hire as many as 14 employees during the next decade.
Although the pro-business group plans to repeat the process soon by requesting a similar grant, it also is pressing forward with its other stated goals.
Board members said the group still is very active despite that it is seeking a new director. The group has advertised the position on a Web site dedicated to recruiting qualified applicants. Wednesday was the first meeting of the group without its former director, Tom Flavin.
“We’re going to have to push this forward to keep it from going into neutral or reverse,” Chairman Scott Cook said about the group’s work as it seeks a leader.
Group members also expr-essed a need to boost its membership of small businesses as one way to keep it viable. The EDP represents 32 local small businesses that contribute membership fees. That constitutes about 17 percent of the EDP’s membership, but group members would like to see that small-business segment grow to 40 percent or 50 percent of the group’s membership.
Other funding comes from local governments, oil and gas companies, banks and nonprofit organizations.
Members have planned a membership drive geared toward recruiting small businesses. The meeting, tentatively scheduled for next month, also should give board members an opportunity to explain the board’s role in the community.
“There are a lot of small businesses that have joined, but there are a whole bunch that haven’t joined,” Cook said. “Somehow, we need to get some of those people involved.”
An increase in local business membership could generate more ideas and direction for the group, member Dave Fleming said.
New membership also could help stimulate the group’s projects, he said.
“Just because we’re looking for a new director, doesn’t mean we’re sitting back and doing nothing,” Fleming said.
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If a resident of Craig wanted to dive into how the city is spending its money on economic development, that resident wouldn’t get very far. A new city ordinance creating a department could change that.