Frank Moe: Economic development
November 14, 2013
I attended the Craig Moffat Economic Development Partnership meeting with the Craig City Council and the Moffat County Commissioners this past Tuesday night.
A serious and heartfelt conversation was held by these three entities concerning our local economy.
Here are some thoughts, ideas and suggestions from my observations from being in the audience, and from being a business owner and developer in this community.
As we all know, much has been said lately about the negative pressures on our local energy industries, particularly coal, by the federal government, state government and extreme environmentalists.
Many people of Craig and Moffat County have become involved because they know what is at stake concerning our local economy, as recently evidenced by standing up, testifying and advocating for coal. Many of us have recognized and experienced the trends foreshadowing our real estate markets with declining property values and unprecedented numbers of houses for sale or foreclosed on. We are seeing not only school budgets with the prospects of operating on reserves, but now city and county budgets operating with shortfalls, along with pay freezes in the public as well as the private sectors.
When the youths of our community, grade school in this instance, are in tuned to what is happening with our local economy by asking questions such as, "What will happen to our community if one of the local coal mines closes down?" perhaps it is time we all started putting words into action.
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Even in a small community like Craig, we are fortunate to have people and entities concerned enough to step forward and take a proactive approach to fight for a better economic future.
Several board members of the CMEDP and the group came to the meeting with words and phrases like, "prosper, proactive economic action, positive future, economic diversity, strengthening existing businesses, attracting new businesses and utilizing the CNCC Craig campus as an economic catalyst."
Fortunately, now more than ever, the CMEDP board understands the necessity of turning words, thoughts, ideas and concepts into measurable actions, and that immediacy is needed for the tasks at hand to be accomplished. The lessons they have learned and the progress they have achieved, especially in the past months, has made them stronger and even more determined to lead us to economic growth and stability.
However, it will take a concentrated effort not only by the CMEDP but from individuals, businesses, civic groups and clubs, organizations and local industries along with local government bodies. We need the resources pulled together from theses groups to ensure the CMEDP's success on our behalf as a community.
I commend the Craig Moffat Economic Development Partnership in this vital and imperative task, and I fully support the Craig City Council and the Moffat County commissioners in endorsing the CMEDP's vision and efforts through funding and assisting in building a better, brighter and stronger economic future for us all.
We are at a critical junction in Craig and Moffat County. Now is the time to be bold and step up to our economic challenges and confront them head on and overcome the obstacles in our path.