Routt County is working with both Rio Blanco and Moffat counties and municipalities across northwestern Colorado to create an umbrella organization to better coordinate and pursue economic development in the region.
This is not an entirely new entity as it has grown out of a group that included just Routt and Moffat counties with a name centered on the Yampa River. Now named the Northwest Colorado Development Council — a change prompted by the addition of Rio Blanco County and the towns of Meeker and Rangely — the group has already started applying for grants.
Each of the current grants being worked on is mostly about setting up the council, with one already submitted to the Department of Local Affairs that would fund two full-time staff members.
“The idea is looking at what is affecting us regionally,” said Commissioner Tim Redmond, who represents Routt County on the council. “We’re looking at the loss of our coal mines and our generating plants. What do we have as a region that is attractive that we can all start to build together on?”
Redmond said they are still pulling the group together, but in essence the goal right now is “capacity building.”