Moffat County Marketing District 3 votes from new operating plan, budget | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County Marketing District 3 votes from new operating plan, budget

CRAIG — A revised operating plan and budget received the nod of approval from the members of the Local Marketing District Ex-officio board during a meeting held Thursday, April 5. The next step is for the three member entities — the Craig City Council, Moffat County Board of County Commissioners and hte Dinosaur Town Council — to approve the plan.

The Moffat County Local Market District Board met Tuesday, April 3, to review and finalize the presentation that was made to the LMD Ex-officio board.

"We decided that a clean start from scratch was better. No disrespect to the previous board, the community and taxpayers deserved a fresh strategy," said LMD Board Vice Chair Chris Jones, who presented the plan.

The LMD Board projects an estimated $325,000 in lodging tax revenue for 2018, based on historical trends. It has proposed to allocate the funds as follows.

• 20 percent (an estimated $50,000) to Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

• 20 percent (an estimated $50,000) to Moffat County Tourism Association Allocation.

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• $25,000 to the Moffat County Visitor's Center.

• $200,000 for cornerstone projects — broadband, business toolkit, Colorado's Great Northwest community branding, downtown signage, tourism center feasibility study, town of Dinosaur project development and strategic support.

"We didn't think laying out 30 objectives was achievable. We know coming into 2018 we are a little light, but there are opportunities to grow it moving forward," said LMD Board member Rich Thompson.

LMD funding alone will not achieve the board's current and future goals.

"We need you to continue your support, so that LMD funds can make things go the extra miles," LMD Board Chair Luke Tucker told LMD Ex-officio members.

During the discussion between the two boards, several questions arose regarding reserves and what would happen in the event that revues or expenses deviate from estimates.

"You see a high reserve now, but that's only because we are still learning what is needed," Jones said. "Allocations not used will go back into the general budget. We are not one of those entities where you have to use it all by the end of the year."

The work received praise from officials, such as City Council member Chris Nichols, who said, "I like your forward thinking of implementation of some of these plans and studies."

Next, a commitment made in January for the LMD Ex-officio to speak with "one-voice" will now be tested, as each entity moves to independently ratify the operating plan.

"I thought they were focused, effective and efficient, and I look forward to the great work that they are doing working with other entities involved in moving our economy forward," said Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe, when speaking about the LMD during a BOCC meeting Monday.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

Glossary

Moffat County Local Marketing District: In November 2015, voters in Moffat County passed measure 5A to create a Local Marketing District funded through a 4 percent tax levied for rooms and accommodations within the county to support, enhance, encourage and develop programs that lead to economic diversification by increasing business retention, development and recruitment that will in turn increase tourism, including funding for special events.

 LMD Ex-officio: A 17-member board composed of representatives from the City of Craig, the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners and the Town of Dinosaur — oversees a volunteer LMD Board.

LMD Board: Seven citizens, three each appointed by the city and the county and one appointed by the town of Dinosaur to manage the district.