EDP fee structure to change | CraigDailyPress.com

EDP fee structure to change

Move designed to provide input without high cost

Christina M. Currie

With a fee structure change 12 days from going into effect, members of the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership are worried about how members will react.

The EDP increased its membership fees in March, but put in a caveat exempting existing members until 2005.

Now, board members are concerned that members may drop out when the amount due changes on the next invoice.

To give those members who didn’t want to pay the increased fees the option of staying involved, members of the EDP membership committee suggested instituting a “Friends of the EDP” program. “Friends” could make a contribution that is smaller than their membership fees would have been.

The contribution would show support and allow participation and input, but it would not give that business a vote for board members or the option to have an employee on the EDP board of directors.

“If they aren’t going to be able to conform to the fee structure, we’d still like to have them — and their money — as part of EDP, so we needed a category to allow them to do that,” EDP Executive Director Tom Flavin said.

Feelings about the proposed plan are mixed.

“One of our concerns is there are going to be some instances where people are asked to pay more than they have in the past,” board member Dave Fleming said.

Bernie Rose, an individual member of the EDP, is against forming a group that has no vote.

“If you’re going to accept money, you need to accept a vote,” he said.

Board member Chris Nichols said that not having a vote didn’t equal a lack of input.

“If you’re at a meeting, you give input, you influence decisions,” he said.

Board members decided they wouldn’t create a new membership category until there was an indication it was needed.

A member visitation program will be established in 2005.

Select board members will visit businesses and ask them about the direction of the EDP and the services it provides.

The first members who will be visited will be those facing a fee increase.

“We might get some feel over whether some level is a hardship for any business,” Flavin said.

EDP membership was $250. It increased in March to a structure that increases when the size of a business increases.

Fees are:

n Partner Level — $250 annual membership fee for existing businesses with five or fewer employees or contractors, community nonprofit organizations and individuals.

n Bronze Partner Level — $750 annual membership fee for existing businesses with six to 10 employees or contractors.

n Silver Partner Level — $1,500 annual membership fee for existing businesses with 11 to 19 employees or contractors.

n Gold Partner Level — $2,500 annual membership fee for businesses with 20 to 29 employees or contractors.

n Diamond Partner Level — $5,000 annual membership fee for businesses identified as “key community stakeholders,” which are defined as existing businesses with a major effect on the local economy, or corporate entities with headquarters outside Moffat County or new to the community or existing businesses that consider themselves in this category.

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