Site increases access to area data

Community Indicators Tool can help business owners, residents

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www.craigdailypress/cip

The new Community Indicators Tool at www.craigdailypress.com/cip allows users to compare and graph any two of dozens of data sets from Yampa Valley Partners’ Community Indicators Project. The example above shows the civilian labor force from 1997 to 2006 as well as Moffat County’s entrepreneurial ratio during that same period.

— A new Web tool can help people learn a broad range of information about Yampa Valley communities with a click of the mouse.

Through a collaboration with Yampa Valley Partners, the Steamboat Pilot & Today has launched its Community Indicators Tool to provide data about everything from birth rates to voting histories, work force numbers, population projections, bald eagle counts and more on the Web at www.steamboatpilot.com/cip. The project is a Web publication of Yampa Valley Partners’ Community Indicators Project, which in the past has released a printed report every two years but now will offer regularly updated data about our communities on the Web.

Suzanne Schlicht, publisher of the Steamboat Pilot & Today and general manager of its parent company, WorldWest LLC, praised the new effort.

“The Community Indicators Project has been a valuable resource for the community for many years,” Schlicht said. “It is exciting to partner with Yampa Valley Partners in the next evolution of this data. Through www.steamboatpilot.com and www.craigdailypress.com, we are able to assist Yampa Valley Partners in bringing the information to an even larger audience of users.”

Users can tailor the information to individual needs by comparing data throughout several years and displaying two relevant data sets on any one chart, Schlicht said.

For instance, a user could graph population and per capita income change during a number of years. The charts can be downloaded in PDF version for placement in both printed and electronic presentations.

Kate Nowak is executive director of Yampa Valley Partners, which provides information about communities in Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. Nowak said the new Web tool can be a valuable resource for local government officials seeking demographic data for policy decisions and small business owners looking for an edge on the competition, for example.

“This tool is for the citizens of the valley — it’s for anybody who owns a business, it’s for government officials, it’s for nonprofit management,” Nowak said.

She said there are 122 nonprofit organizations in Routt County and close to 200 in the Yampa Valley.

“A lot of them are writing grants and need statistics on the makeup of the population — all of those figures can be found in the community indicators report,” Nowak said. “This is a tool that we hope the community can use as a resource.”

The community indicators are divided into four segments: civic, environmental, social and economic.

Using the environmental data, for example, a graph of bald eagle counts in the Yampa Valley can be laid over a graph of annual precipitation. The former has been sharply increasing since 2005 while the latter has been sharply dropping.

Schlicht said the tool’s ability to blend information is unique.

“I’m not aware that this type of tool exists anywhere else in the country,” she said. “The community is fortunate that Yampa Valley Partners had the vision and foresight to develop this concept and secure grant funding for the project.”

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