behalf of your economic development community assessment team I
would like to thank you for the opportunity
to get to know your community and its very special people.
Communities across Colorado have strengths and challenges, Kiowa
County is not alone. We can tell you however, that
the elements that make problem solving possible are alive and well
in your community.
partnership brought over 60 years of combined community and
economic development expertise to your community. Our purpose was
to do a general SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, threats) and put together a series of
recommendations to help the county both short and long-term. Our
work focused on four areas: business & tourism, education
& health care, government and value-added agriculture. Most of
what we reported is nothing new to those of you who live here day
to day. What the team hopes will help, is the recommendations we
have made and the determination of community leaders and concerned
residents to focus on these critical issues.
would like to read in full our list of Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats, we would encourage you to get in touch
with Janet Frederick, Executive Director of the Kiowa County
Economic Development Foundation. Consider our list a photograph
in time. In a year the list may look very different depending on
the priorities you choose to set in the county.
communities find it is easier to discuss whatís wrong, but it is
important that you donít get paralyzed by the issues, rather,
begin dealing with them one at a timeÖ checking them off as they
appear under control -- bringing human and financial capital to
each in its turn.
closing here are our immediate recommendations:
Convene an immediate meeting of key decision makers to
determine how to keep the oil seed project viable. Kiowa has
raised an unprecedented amount of money and determination to
make this project happen. It is unacceptable to not bring all
resources available to see to it that it realizes its full
potential. We recommend connecting the project with the
Colorado Venture Center which brings marketing, business plan
and venture capital expertise to the table. Once a clear
action plan is outlined we would encourage the community to
look again at other sources of additional gap financing.
Invest time and money in your economic development efforts.
Kiowa has taken the first important steps of setting up the
Foundation and hiring an executive director. We encourage you
to look at ways to provide a stable and significant funding
source. The County has a significant fund surplus and other
potential funding sources that could, long-term, be funding
mechanisms for both economic and tourism development projects.
Be clear, we donít want money thrown at the Foundation for
the sake of building the budget but to be specifically
directed to issues pointed out as important in our analysis.
Communication and development of the Foundationís mission
and work program will also go a long way in bringing the
importance of a strong ED program.
Nurture your health care complex and education system. You
have unprecedented cooperation and forward thinking leadership
in both areas. Healthcare has become an importer of people to
the county to for use of the hospital facilities and ancillary
services. Continue to look at infrastructure improvement and
expansion of services.
there is clearly an opportunity to look at ways to make
support services more efficient to ensure the ability of both
districts to stay viable. Your state evaluation is something
to be proud of but if population and interest in maintaining
the districts decline this will not be the case.
Tourism is a hot-button in the county. The lake resources and
Sand Creek Massacre historic designation allow for exciting
possibilities. The problem however, is that services,
accommodations, and retail serving this sector are quite
limited. Short-term, concentrate on creating services,
infrastructure improvement, and retail opportunities at Nee
on camping, fishing, hunting and day visits to the Sand Creek
Massacre site as immediate goals. Your website shows
significant interest in all these areas. Funding could be used
to seed/encourage residents and business people to risk
seasonal support of the burgeoning tourism industry.
closing we would like to thank you for the opportunity to be a
part of your community. Some of us will continue
to work closely with your leadership as they move forward Ė
others will be available across the phone lines or for follow-up
visits to help realize your economic development goals.
E. Plain, CED
Developers Council of Colorado