Moffat County commissioners meet with economic development firm | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County commissioners meet with economic development firm

Firm offers implementation strategies

Patrick Kelly

Moffat County Commissioners Chuck Grobe, Frank Moe and John Kinkaid discuss economic posturing with Better City's Economic Development Manager Kelby Bosshardt, Senior Associate Derek Walker, and Southwest Regional Director Jason Godfrey.

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners and Mindy Curtis, county finance director, had their first sit-down meeting Monday with the team hired to bring business to the area.

The goal is to drive economic development in Moffat County.

Better City, an Ogden, Utah, based firm specializing in implementing business strategies and revitalizing regional economies, visited with the commissioners and Curtis.

In January, the commissioners contracted Better City, at a cost of $81,890, to spend about one year studying the entire county's economic strengths and weaknesses before producing a final action plan.

The funding for Better City's work comes primarily from a $50,000 Economic Development Administration grant under President Barack Obama's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization, or POWER, Initiative.

The county's match portion of the grant was $25,000 from Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $7,000 from the county and $18,000 through in-kind support.

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In the discussion, the county commissioners told the Better City representatives that people in Moffat County are sick of planning — the citizens want action.

"I think you'll find that it's common in Moffat County that we're not too excited about another plan, but we're excited about implementing," Commissioner John Kinkaid said.

Better City was represented by southwest regional director Jason Godfrey, economic development manager Kelby Bosshardt and senior associate Derek Walker. CEO Adam Hughes participated via telephone.

Hughes said implementation of specific strategies for economic growth is exactly what his organization does.

"The goal of this process is to really get towards some catalytic projects," he said.

Catalytic projects are what Hughes described as concrete undertakings than can influence change in a region's economy and provide the impetus for further economic development.

Moving forward in creating a strategy, the representatives from Better City will engage with local government, private industry and residents to gauge Moffat County's economic atmosphere.

A crucial part of the process is getting public support, Bosshardt said.

"It takes time for people to galvanize behind these projects and so our goal is, sooner than later, start planting the seeds and ideas behind some of these projects," he said.