YVDP unveils Community Indicators Project report

Quotable

“It’s meant to be a reference guide for people working on a variety of projects. It has a lot of great community information people may need when building a business plan or when nonprofits need to apply for a grant.”

— Kate Nowak, Yampa Valley Data Partners executive director

The number of nonprofit organizations in Moffat County and the average hourly wage for local employees is on the rise.

That information, along with other statistics, comes from the 2012-13 Community Indicators Project report, recently released by Yampa Valley Data Partners.

“It’s meant to be a reference guide for people working on a variety of projects,” YVDP Executive Director Kate Nowak said. “It has a lot of great community information people may need when building a business plan or when nonprofits need to apply for a grant.”

YVDP began the project in 2006 to measure quality of life in the Yampa Valley by studying the health of civic, economic, environmental and social factors in Moffat and Routt counties.

According to the report, 20 new nonprofit organizations were established in Moffat County between 2006 and 2010.

Nowak attributes the increase to the needs of the community.

“To me, nonprofits are coming to the area because certain needs aren’t being met either in the government, healthcare or business sectors,” she said.

In addition, the report states the average hourly wage for local workers has increased steadily each year and is nearly double the defined self-sufficiency wage.

The self-sufficiency wage in Moffat County, as outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, is $10.87 per adult.

In 2001 the average hourly wage in Moffat County was $17.72. By 2009, it had increased to $20.11.

“The average hourly wage in Moffat and Routt counties has risen 2-percent faster than the rate of inflation,” Nowak said. “That’s due in part to the fact that we have good paying jobs in the mines and through energy and utilities, but it’s also because it is expensive to live here and most businesses adjust their pay scales accordingly.”

Much of the information in the project report shows the quality of life in the Yampa Valley is good.

One blight in the report concerns rising property crime rates in Moffat County.

Although not as high as 2005 when the property crime rate peaked at 29.3 per 1,000 residents, there has been a steady increase in property crimes since 2007, when the rate bottomed to 19.4 incidents per 1,000 residents.

In 2010, the most recent year for data, the property crime rate spiked to 23.2 per 1,000 residents.

Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said property crimes are not on the rise in the sense that there are more home burglaries or car break-ins.

“What we’re seeing lately is an increase in shoplifting arrests, which would be reported as a property crime,” Vanatta said. “We attribute that increase to the down economy and more people being out of work.”

On a more positive note, the number of violent crimes has dropped significantly during the same time period from 3.2 incidents per 1,000 residents in 2005 to 1.3 incidents per 1,000 residents in 2010.

Hard copies of YVDP’s 2012-13 Community Indicators Project report are available at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries, 570 Green St.; Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way; Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St.; and the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way.

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