Lawrence L. Sober: We need to diversify
To the editor:
Craig and Moffat County is truly a unique community. We are fortunate to have some very talented and intelligent people in this community. We do not always agree on things like philosophy, religion or politics, but whenever we have a crisis or a family in need, people are quick to forget our differences and then do whatever they can to help out.
Our nation, state and local governments will have some really serious issues to face in the coming year. As a nation, we are living on borrowed time and money. What is happening in Europe will soon happen here because taxpayers cannot continue to support all the people who do not pay taxes.
Locally, we are facing the loss of both jobs and revenue due to this Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.
Xcel is already talking to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission about cost recovery, which in fact will come down to rate increases for everyone in this state.
They fail to mention that most of the jobs created by this bill are temporary jobs only. Once these plants are converted over to natural gas, those construction jobs will end. We will lose many more jobs than will be created.
This community will then have to diversify its economy. Some of the people here think that this has happened before and we were able to survive then, so we will do it again.
The fact is that our nation is broke and if these jobs ever come back, it will not be for a long time to come.
We need the same amount of effort put into improving our economy that we are putting into this deer issue.
Everyone needs to come together with ideas that will help our local economy get through what is coming. We have a railhead here that is not being used to its full potential
And, along that rail right-of-way are empty buildings that could be used for warehousing and/or distribution centers. Rail is one of the cheapest forms of transportation in this nation.
We do not need more beauty salons, motels or Mexican restaurants here. We could use a lumberyard, which could also use the rail system here. We do not offer any realistic incentives for businesses to come here.
One reason is because we fear the competition and the other reason is because we refuse to work with them on the infrastructure needed. You can make up for the cost of the infrastructure over time from the revenue generated by new business.
Throughout this nation, other communities have already found and used ways to diversify their local economies.
There are plenty of examples out there.
Lawrence L. Sober