Resiliency Roadmap Implementation Grants Summary

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In late 2023, the Department of Local Affairs in partnership with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade Rural Opportunity Office launched funding through the Rural Technical Assistance Program. Each of the Regional Community Teams that took part in the Resiliency Roadmaps Program were eligible for this non-competitive $41,000 award to advance a component of their Roadmap strategies – fulfilling our promise to communities that these plans would not just sit on a shelf.

The resulting 15 awards are going toward more in-depth studies; regional branding and marketing; expanded human capacity; and the launch of a mini-grants program for local entrepreneurs. Each project benefits at least three regional partners, ensuring a regional approach and consensus on top-priority strategies in the region. These projects will advance strategies related to housing, recreation, local workforce and leadership development, expanding local entrepreneurs and small businesses, downtown connectivity/multi-modal transportation, regional branding/marketing, community engagement, and brownfields remediation.

Read below to learn more about projects in each region.

In-Depth Studies and Plans

  • Central San Juan High Alpine - Complete a recreation study of the Central San Juan High Alpine area to inform future prioritization of management actions and recreation plans.
  • Summit County - Survey local businesses to identify needs, while also mapping the opportunities and resources available to entrepreneurs at each stage of their trajectory. This will create a stronger support network and more intentional connections, and a compilation of relevant resources into brochures and web materials for local business owners.
  • Southeast Colorado - Contract study to identify alternative uses for abandoned greenhouses in Crowley County with the intention of creating jobs by opening new business ventures in the currently vacant greenhouses. The process will also expand business support capacity in the region.
  • Eagle Valley - Complete workforce development ecosystem mapping that will consider community needs and workforce development opportunities holistically across the northwest Colorado region’s interdependent smaller rural communities. This study will identify all current and potential partners/programs to support workforce development; identify career pipelines to address industry needs; identify technical assistance programs across the region; provide feedback related to commuter patterns.
  • Northern Colorado (Upstate) - Hire a consultant to advance the Kersey Multimodal Downtown Connectivity Project to conduct four tasks: a property appraisal of a Railroad Right of Way between Weld County Road 49 and State Highway 34; resource inventory and evaluation; conceptual design of the transit route from downtown Kersey to Evans via the Freedom Parkway (Weld County Road 54); and conduct ownership and encumbrance title research.
  • Gunnison County - Hire a local consultant to outline a communication strategy that will increase and deepen community engagement and diversifying and expanding community leadership. Communications support and funding will help One Valley Leadership Council (OVLC) communicate with the ever-changing lineup of elected officials and the general public on the strategies, actions, and needs developed in the One Valley Resiliency Roadmap (OVRR). The project is focused on three areas of work: affordable housing; land use, transportation, infrastructure; and civic capacity.  

Advancing Strategy and Development of Regional Branding and Marketing, including Physical Signage, Print Materials, and Digital Marketing

  • East Central Colorado - Develop a regional brand and marketing campaign, including uniform regional signage for each community. Advancing the “Stop Stay Spend” Strategy.
  • Mesa County First Responders - Improve way-finding signage for the businesses in order to stimulate the local economy in De Beque and Mesa County, leading to growth and job creation.
  • Northeast Colorado - Develop and complete a "Return to Rural" regional marketing campaign for site selection to tell the story of the region and the experience of living in it. The campaign is intended to attract businesses by highlighting the authentic stories that make our community unique.
  • Northwest Colorado - Develop an economic development website to grow and diversify the regional economy in the three-county region to replace the financial loss from the coal transition. The website is an essential marketing tool to manage regional tourism, generate business development leads, recruit new companies to rural Northwest Colorado, and provide information about incentives and resources for existing businesses and workforce training opportunities for dislocated energy workers.

Mini-Grants Program

  • Western San Luis Valley - Launch a competitive mini-grants program for homegrown entrepreneurs in the region, which will bring critical financial support directly to local entrepreneurs and small businesses. These grants are intended to promote job retention, job creation, entrepreneurship, and capital formation by providing grants that enable small businesses and entrepreneurs to scale and sustain their enterprises.

Expanding Human Capacity

  • Montezuma County - Hire a Community Involvement Coordinator to serve as the coordinating entity for leadership development, networking opportunities, and economic development.
  • Pitkin/Roaring Fork Valley - Fund professional services to implement projects coming out of the region’s Roadmap, which created the West Mountain Regional Housing Coalition and the Regional Housing Toolkit.
  • South/Eastern San Luis Valley - Hire an experienced economic development director or consultant in order to bolster efforts to attract projects and funding, and will support local businesses in the county.
  • South Central Council of Governments - Fund staff to administer a Brownfields grant from the EPA for up to 12 properties in Huerfano County; continue with the development of an industrial park on the south side of Walsenburg; and continue the housing development project.