Claremore Daily Progress

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January 31, 2014

Strategic Planning: CIEDA, City discuss future priorities

CLAREMORE —

Members of the Claremore City Council and Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) met Wednesday night for a strategic planning retreat led by Jeri Koehler, director of Rogers State University’s Innovation Center.
The purpose of the meeting was to develop goals for Claremore’s economic development in the short term and long term, and to continue building collaboration between the two groups.
Both agreed that the relationship has had its challenges in the past, with inconsistent funding and unclear direction from the city.
“We don’t have a vision,” City Manager Jim Thomas said of CIEDA, but noted that work was being done to change that.
“I think we’re looking at an opportunity with CIEDA and the city working together,” said Rob Melton, CIEDA board member. “We’ve got a lot of pull, but we’ve been pulling in opposite directions. If we start pulling together, we’ll have a lot more power.”
“Right now there is a pretty unified council behind CIEDA,” said city councilor Mark Lepak.
City planner and interim CIEDA director Jill Ferenc took it a step further, saying she would like to see “integrated partnerships” between the city, CIEDA, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Main Street.
“Because none of us can do it all,” she said.
The group spent time brainstorming CIEDA’s vision through the year 2020, and discussed its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Their vision for the future included being self-funded; having greater industrial, commercial and retail development with a regional approach; and securing more public/private partnerships.
They said CIEDA’s greatest strengths were developed industrial land, a capable city staff and leadership, and abundant tourism.
Conversely, CIEDA’s weaknesses were noted to be inconsistent funding, no permanent director, and limited housing opportunities within city limits.

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