The Leadville/Lake County Economic Development Corporation will resume its search for a new executive director this week. The organization has been functioning without a director since August.
The EDC’s Board of Directors halted a first round of interviews for the position in September due to uncertainty over Lake County Government’s 2020 financial contribution to the organization.
Soon after, the EDC asked the Board of County Commissioners to allocate over $140,000 to the EDC in 2020, a $60,000 increase from 2019. The EDC’s board said the increase was necessary to raise the organization’s executive director’s salary from about $60,000 to $100,000.
With 2020 donation commitments from the Board of County Commissioners and the City of Leadville secured, the EDC’s board now feels ready to begin the hiring process after a three-month hiatus.
Though the county and city budgets have not been formally approved as of the Herald’s publication date, the BOCC and Leadville City Council plan to give $85,000 and $24,000, respectively, to the EDC in 2020. The county increased its contribution by $5,000 over the prior year’s amount; the city increased its funding by $19,000.
Though the BOCC did not meet the EDC’s full $140,000 funding request, the city’s increased donation plus utilization of the organization’s reserves are sufficient to allow EDC to offer the new executive director a salary of around $100,000 for 2020.
In a set of visioning sessions this fall, the commissioners established that they wanted the EDC to focus on high-level economic development, specifically business attraction and infrastructure development. The EDC will join forces with the Central Mountain Small Business Development Center on some of its lower-level hands-on programs like business training.
“This is what we need to bring and keep a professional here,” EDC Vice President John Wells said of the $40,000 salary increase. Wells and the rest of the hiring committee plan to refine and post the job listing this week.
“I’m very glad we are able to move forward,” EDC President Keith Moffett told the Herald.