Grand County receives $200K for Henderson impacts
Grand County and Clear Creek County have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant will help both counties plan for the economic impacts from the employee layoffs and potential closure of the Henderson Mine and Mill. The $100,000 from the EDA is being matched by another $100,000 grant from Freeport-McMoRan, Inc., owner of the Henderson Mine and Mill, which brings the total grant to $200,000.
The funds will be used to create an economic resurgence and resiliency action and implementation plan to ensure the long-term community sustainability of Grand County and Clear Creek County in the wake of the cutbacks at the mine and mill, according to a press release from the Grand County Manager’s Office.
The grant was awarded to the Department of Economic Development through the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, which handles the northwest economic development district for the Federal Government.
Due to recent reduction in the molybdenum and commodities markets, the output at the mine and mill has been cut from roughly 30 million pounds a year to about 10 million pounds currently, and has been on the forefront of minds in both Grand County and Clear Creek County since last year.
The Grand County economy will be impacted in two significant ways.
First, the property tax revenue to the county from the Henderson Mine and Mill is expected to drop considerably, representing a significant drop in revenue to the county coffers and other entities in the county that rely on property tax revenues.
Second, job cutbacks have already occurred thus reducing the number of Grand County residents employed at the mill.
“When I first heard of the reductions at the mine and mill I saw it as an opportunity to leverage grants to help identify how we move forward towards a more sustainable economic plan,” stated DiAnn Butler, Grand County’s Economic Development Coordinator, in the press release.
She said she had seen other counties experience mine closures and receive EDA planning grants to combat the negative economic impacts. Butler said the county worked with the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Clear Creek County and Freeport-McMoRan to talk about applying for the EDA grant.
The project will use a consultant team and address the scope of work as two parallel projects for each county.
The project consists of five phases:
Economic assessment to determine the most important assets and economic clusters for each county.
Market analysis to determine opportunities for expanding and/or adding new economic opportunities to the respective counties.
Final Report with recommendations and an action plan for utilizing the information gathered from phases one and two.
Feasibility/Implementation Analysis on the top 1-2 implementation initiatives for each County.
Methodology to monitor effectiveness of plan implementation and economic development.
The first two phases have an estimated time period of 60 days each.
The third phase has an estimated 60-day time period with a 30-day review of the report to provide feedback on recommended changes and conclude what recommended actions merit and implementation analysis.
Phase four also has a 60-day time estimate with a 30-day review, and phase five has a 30-day estimate.
Grand County Assessor Tom Weydert presented the Abstract of Assessment to the Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at the August 23 meeting in Hot Sulphur Springs.
The valuation on mines shows a difference of $35,861,490 in 2015 to $11,473,050 in 2016: a difference of $24,388,440, which is a decrease of 68.01 percent. The total change for Grand County was a decrease of 2.42 percent at $17,975,830.
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