Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 17, 2013

Workgroup: Metrics will help county judge the effectiveness of economic development

Director says office is putting the finishing touches on a new strategic plan

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County commissioners heard an update from a county workgroup on economic development, including plans to create a methodology to measure economic progress in the county.

Those measurements will help judge the effectiveness of the county’s economic development efforts.

Three members of the work group were present at the meeting with commissioners: Matthew Diaz, the county’s economic development director; Thomas Sigerstad, a business professor at Frostburg State University; and Tom Finan, a local businessman.

Diaz said the county’s economic development office is putting the finishing touches on a new strategic plan for economic development.

The plan will contain goals and ideas aimed at economic development.

The workgroup, originally formed last fall, has reviewed the strategic plan several times over the past few months, Diaz said.

The workgroup supports the county’s strategic plan, Finan said.

“It’s well-written,” he said.

“We were quite happy when looking at it, that we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Sigerstad said.

Recently, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stu Czapski, a member of the workgroup, caused a stir when he said the county has no vision for economic development.

The Allegany County strategic plan has to be scrutinized in concert with other plans affecting economic development in the county, Finan said.

Those other plans include those of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tri-County Council and the city of Cumberland, among others. The county does not operate in a vacuum, Finan said.

The workgroup wants to find a way to assess successes and failures in the county’s economic development efforts; so to that end, Sigerstad is developing a series of metrics to measure economic development in the county, Finan said.

The metrics will allow the county to see where things stand now and measure whether the strategic plan implementation is successful, Finan said.

Sigerstad said he continues to develop the metrics, which will be akin to a SWOT analysis looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

“What we are concerned about is how are we going to assign responsibility” for progress or lack of progress in economic development, Sigerstad said. He said he’ll have the metrics ready soon.

Diaz said he plans regular, — likely quarterly — reports, to commissioners on economic development.

Diaz also said he plans something of a public relations campaign to get the word out about the things that Allegany County does well, to attract new businesses.

The strategic plan could be important for future economic development in the county, said Commissioner Bill Valentine.

“It’s important that we get the public to buy in on this. If you get public buy-in, then you have fewer naysayers,” Valentine said.

Commissioner Michael McKay said he’d like regular reports based on the metrics to see how the county is doing with economic development.

“I’m looking forward to the barometer,” McKay said.

The discussion took place last week at a county commission work session at county offices on Kelly Road. Czapski was out of town and could not be present for last week’s meeting.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at

Text Only
Local News
  • Overturned tanker upsets Oakland Overturned tanker upsets Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large commercial wreckers were being used at mid-afternoon Wednesday to upright a tanker full of liquid propane that overturned several hours earlier in downtown Oakland and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CODY EVERSOLE Eversole named 2014 Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.
    The award is presented to an outstanding male student-athlete in each year’s senior class.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Cumberland home rebuilt after fire South Cumberland home rebuilt after fire

    CUMBERLAND — A South Cumberland home destroyed by fire last July was given a second chance recently after the owner decided he wanted to remain a part of the neighborhood and had his house rebuilt.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • School vaccination requirements change

    April 17, 2014

  • Mineral BOE gives $18K to library

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to give the Keyser-Mineral County Public Library $18,000 for fiscal 2015 and to give the Piedmont library an additional $1,000 out of carryover funds.

    April 16, 2014

  • The Eichhorn family Local family says hosting New York City children in summer is ‘wonderful experience’

    CUMBERLAND — Sonya and Christopher Morgan of Cumberland always planned on a hosting a child through The Fresh Air Fund Volunteer Host Family Program. “Christopher always said once we had kids of our own we were going to do it. When our son turned 6 we said, ‘OK, let’s do it,’” said Sonya.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 16, 2014

  • Report: High-quality child care lacking in West Virginia

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 16, 2014

  • JIM HINEBAUGH Hinebaugh seeks Garrett County commissioner post

    Jim Hinebaugh recently announced his candidacy for Garrett County commissioner. A Garrett County native and lifelong Republican, Hinebaugh graduated from Southern High School and attended Frostburg State University before entering the U.S. Army via the draft. After serving as an enlisted member, Hinebaugh completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He retired as a colonel/06 in 1995 with almost 29 years of service including eight years overseas.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video