Strategic plan to be unveiled Thursday

Consultant Community Builders Inc. will unveil the draft Big Horn County County-wide Strategic Plan for Economic Development at meetings in Lovell and Greybull today (Thursday).

Grow Big Horn County Director Sue Taylor said the draft plan will be presented to local government and business leaders at noon in Lovell at Big Horn Federal and at 4 p.m. in Greybull at Town Hall. The draft plan will be presented by Joe Coyne of Community Builders Inc.

Coyne will present findings and recommendations and seek input from attendees. Invited are the county commissioners, mayors and town council members, chamber board members and directors, candidates for municipal and county commission seats and Grow Big Horn County and Greybull Economic Development board members.

Taylor said the purpose of the plan is to “determine our assets and strengths and help us identify ways to form a cohesive effort throughout the county and to forge accountability in economic development efforts.”

If the plan is implemented the public benefits will include primary job creation and retention, Taylor said, adding that elected leaders, business leaders and the tourist sector “realize we have a large reserve of untapped potential for growth and we need further direction with specific actionable steps to identify and tap that potential.

“The added public benefit would be a better sense of ‘community’ in the broader sense of the word,” she added. “Big Horn County needs to find ways to eliminate the north-south references and work together as a whole.

“Part of the planning process has been to help further educate elected officials and the public about what is and isn’t economic development. People associate economic development only with business recruitment, but there are several other key ingredients to successful economic development such as infrastructure development, housing, the workforce, business expansion and retention, leadership and civic policy.”

Taylor said the final plan is to be delivered at the end of the month (October) and will be presented to the county commissioners in November.

The $50,000 project to develop the strategic plan was funded by the Wyoming Business Council and locally by Big Horn County and the towns of Basin, Greybull and Lovell, which provided a 25 percent match, $12,500, for the WBC grant.

By David Peck