Delta County Economic Development director Trish Thibodo spoke of recent and pending economic development successes achieved by DCED, working with other stakeholders, when she met with the Delta City Council in work session Sept. l. She asked for the city's continued financial support for DCED.
Thibodo recounted receiving the recent grant for $5.2 million from Colorado Department of Local Affairs to begin addressing the availability of high speed Internet through broadband, that availability being necessary for economic development in the region.
The grant was awarded to the partnership of Delta County Economic Development, the cities of Delta and Montrose, Delta County, Delta-Montrose Electric Association and Region 10 LEAP, Inc. Thibodo noted that the $5.2 million came from the statewide allotment of $20 million to promote economic development throughout Colorado.
She remarked on DCED's strong relationship with the state during the 2015 fifth annual Western Colorado Soil Health Conference and DCED's commitment to grow the 2016 sixth annual Soil Health Conference in support of the county's agricultural community. DCED will work to keep the conference in Delta.
Councilmember Robert Jurca asked how many businesses DCED had brought in this year.
Thibodo said 18 jobs have been brought to Delta County and DCED has accessed $400,000 in grants to assist local businesses to expand.
She is currently working with three businesses interested in coming to Delta -- a manufacturing company located in Littleton, a poultry company which processes 1.3 million birds a day, and a local manufacturing company that wants to expand.
Another company is considering moving from Grand Junction to the Delta area.
Interim city manager Glen Black said annual city support to DCED has been up to $45,000 in the past, including membership and support for projects. He said local financial support from DCED members serves as leverage when DCED applies for grant money.
Thibodo agreed, saying, in seeking grants, matching funds are very important.
Following Thibodo's presentation the council reviewed a printout of donations and memberships in the 2015 city budget in preparation for the 2016 city budget. The council decided to ask some organizations to make presentations to the council.
The amount of financial support for Delta County Economic Development and other organizations will be decided during the budget process.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.