Former West Slope manager named DDA director

John Schneiger
John Schneiger

An administrator who’s worked as city manager of both Fruita and Montrose has been hired as director of the Downtown Development Authority in Grand Junction.

John Schneiger is expected to begin his new duties the week of Oct. 5. In addition to ongoing efforts to promote economic development downtown, he will work on a number of other DDA projects, including recently purchased building housing R-5 High School as well as the development of the former White Hall site.

According to a news release from the DDA, Schneiger was selected for the job on the basis of his experience in economic development and working in Western Colorado as well as his success in redevelopment projects.

Schneiger worked as city manager in Fruita between 1992 and 2000 and then served as city manager in Montrose until 2005. He subsequently served as city manager in New Port Richey, Fla., where he led planning and economic development initiatives that included a downtown community redevelopment agency that oversaw commercial and residential projects.

Schneiger holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Wisconsin and master’s of business administration degree from Colorado State University.

Schneiger was selected over two other finalists for the DDA job: Jon Maraschin, executive director of the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction; and Matthew Selby, director of community development in Ashland, Mass.

The three were selected from 39 applicants for the position following the resignation earlier this year of Harry Weiss, who served as director of both the DDA and Downtown Grand Junction Business Improvement District. Weiss accepted a new position as vice president of urban revitalization and development with One Acadiana, a regional economic development organized in Louisiana.

Robin Brown and Allison Blevins subsequently were hired as co-directors of the Business Improvement District.

The DDA uses what’s called tax increment financing to fund capital improvement projects, economic development and other efforts that promote the downtown area. The Business Improvement District imposes an assessment on commercial property within the district to fund advertising, special events and other promotions.