Consolidation of economic councils discussed
December 19, 2007
Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs — With at least seven organizations currently promoting economic vitality in Northwest Colorado, some local officials are wondering if that work could be consolidated. — With at least seven organizations currently promoting economic vitality in Northwest Colorado, some local officials are wondering if that work could be consolidated.
Steamboat Springs — With at least seven organizations currently promoting economic vitality in Northwest Colorado, some local officials are wondering if that work could be consolidated.
There are economic development councils for Steamboat Springs, Hayden, South Routt, Routt County, the Yampa Valley, the Community Agriculture Alliance, chambers and more. At a recent, daylong Steamboat Springs City Council retreat, council members discussed the possibility of combining some of the groups, or at least maximizing their efficiency.
“When you have multiple providers, I think it’s appropriate to periodically review the activities and see if there’s economies you can achieve,” City Manager Alan Lanning said Monday. “The thought isn’t necessarily to combine, but to talk about what we’re doing.”
Noreen Moore, business resource director for the Routt County Economic Development Council, said the combination idea is one that periodically rears its head, and one she is always quick to oppose.
“A couple years ago there started to be this question about how all these EDCs operate and if they are duplicating work,” Moore said. “I can assure you they all do different things.”
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Moore said all the organizations have different constituencies and different missions, and thus have legitimacy as different bodies. Moore said that while the groups are separate, they do communicate and sometimes work together.
Tammie Delaney, a member of the Hayden Economic Development Council, agreed that separate organizations are preferable. Delaney cited the recently opened Hayden Marketplace as an initiative that will benefit Hayden but may not have been embraced by a regional body.
“Personally, my viewpoint is that we do need our town EDCs because they are so unique,” Delaney said. “We may not all want to take the same approaches.”
Delaney said Hayden has a unique character in the Yampa Valley that the local economic development council likes to promote.
“We still have so much of what we’ve had in our past,” Delaney said. “We have so much that so many other communities have lost.”
Like Moore, Delaney said cross-communication among the different economic groups is key and could improve. Moore said separate bodies allow all bases to be covered.
“I can assure you none of us are doing the same thing, but we do help each other out,” Moore said. “We don’t have enough bodies to replicate.”
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