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City takes steps to ensure economic vitality

Long-term economic development in Boulder City now has a road map for the next four years, courtesy of action steps recently approved by City Council.

The action steps were part of an economic development plan done by the city and University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate students from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. They were approved by council members at their Sept. 24 meeting.

“The need for an economic development plan is a goal that was highlighted during the city’s strategic plan workshops — Goal C: Manage Growth and Development, Strategy 2,” said Raffi Festekjian, the city’s economic development coordinator. “The plan provides a four-year road map for success in Boulder City’s future economic development.”

The steps include research emerging trends in the renewable energy industry to strengthen the city’s market position; develop a marketing plan that promotes the community’s high quality of life; develop a campaign that promotes Boulder City as a historic preservation tourist destination; develop a business expansion and retention program; and develop and promote a workshop that connects residents to local career training opportunities.

Additionally, Festekjian said the steps support three primary areas “critical” to the long-term success of Boulder City’s economic development: economic sustainability, tourism and business retention.

“City staff will follow the times associated with specific action items adopted by the City Council … . There are several business retention related action items city staff will undertake in quarter four of this year,” he added.

The rest of the action steps will be undertaken and completed by 2023.

The resolution originally called for council to approve the entire economic development plan done by the students, but during the council meeting, Mayor Kiernan McManus said he was hesitant to approve the entire document.

“We have a very long document here,” he said. “There are some things at the end that are a little more concrete, but there are still not cost estimates involved with any of that.”

According to the Festekjian, the action items will be funded through the city’s budget.

“Many of the action items will be accomplished with existing resources, but as part of the annual budget process, staff will propose, as needed, additional resource requests,” he said.

The requests will be presented to council members for approval. Festekjian said the city partnered with UNLV for this project for several reasons.

“Having an outside consultant lead the facilitation exercise provided the community with an unbiased viewpoint that could leverage university resources to provide a comprehensive overview of current economic environment,” he said. “In addition, the city saved $35,000 using UNLV.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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