Meeting planned as part of effort to develop regional strategy

A regional meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 12 in Rifle as part of the creation of an economic development strategy for an area that includes Mesa County and four other Western Colorado counties.

Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, an organization of city and county governments, is developing the strategy as a prerequisite for an Economic Development District designation for an area that includes Mesa County as well as Garfield, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties.

The area is the only rural planning area of Colorado that’s not designated an EDD.

The Economic Development Administration, which designates districts, calls for the creation of economic development strategies through a process that engages community leaders, involves the private sector and ultimately serves as a blueprint for regional collaboration and fosters an environment for economic prosperity.

AGNC members directed staff to identify opportunities that could aid in the economic diversification of the region. The group determined opportunities to leverage local economic development efforts could be expanded if the area could be designated an Economic Development District.

As part of the process, a regional meeting has been set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Grand River Hospital, 501 Airport Road.

To register for the meeting or obtain more information, visit www.agnc.org. More information about the economic development strategy process, visit the website at http://eda.gov.ceds/.