In many growing communities there are increasing costs for water and sewer systems, and growing concerns about how that can affect economic development competitiveness for key industries that are sensitive to those costs. As part of its efforts to maintain the advantages of the region for business growth, the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. took leadership action to conduct a study of the region's economic development competitiveness and effects of changes in local utility costs. The team of Economic Development Research Group (now EBP) and Ticknor & Associates was hired to conduct the study.
The project involved a four step process of detailed analysis of the region's economic base and competitiveness, focusing on strengths and weaknesses for attracting and expanding key target industries. The analysis compared the Colorado Springs area to fourteen competing metropolitan areas around the US.
The first step was the application of cost models for comparing utility rates and business operating costs for various target industries. The second step was the comparison of relative economic performance and competitiveness factors using the Local Economic Assessment Package (LEAP).
The third step was a synthesis of findings on the region's competitiveness and utility cost factors, based on detailed interviews of site location consultants. The fourth step was the development of profiles comparing utility-related economic development programs and policies among the