Mohave County Board of Supervisors could seek Gov. Ducey’s OK for development district

April 16, 2019

Western Arizona is the only portion of the state that doesn’t have a permanent, federally-recognized economic development district. According to Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, the region is better with it than without it.

The Western Arizona Economic Development District was created in 2002, as a temporary agency under the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Its function was to consolidate grant pursuits for Mohave, La Paz and Yuma Counties. The Mohave County Board of Supervisors will be asked today to approve a request to Gov. Ducey for his approval.

“We’ve had an economic development district in the past,” said Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, referring to the temporary district which started in 2002. “It hasn’t been kept up since then, and (Economic Development Director Tami Ursenbach) is trying to reinstate it. It’s another way for us to get funding for economic development … it’s better for us to have it than not have it.”

Such a district would increase the effective pairing of workers and employers in the economic development district, according to Ursenbach. Ursenbach says a large, well-trained, well-prepared workforce could be an attractive county asset among employers interested in moving to Mohave County.

The creation of such a district could also maximize the ability of local governments to meet current and future infrastructure needs, while educating taxpayers about the costs and benefits of such. It could also encourage rural communities to maximize the benefits of broadband Internet investments.

The governor’s approval of such a district is important, Ursenbach says, because it will be the governor who must request an economic development district’s designation with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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