An economic development committee met Tuesday to plan an event to attract entrepreneurs and business owners to Craig in June. The planning group is the economic development subcommittee of the Craig Community Assessment Committee, which kicked off its meetings at the beginning of the year after receiving an assessment performed by the state program Downtown Colorado Inc. The state program helps guide small communities through the processes it takes to boost local economies.
A late corn harvest in the Midwest, which uses propane heat to dry the crop, and severe winter weather is creating demand felt in other regions.
Recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program indicates that local crime is on the decline. The FBI has been collecting, publishing and archiving crime statistics as part of the UCR program since 1929. The data is produced from the information received from more than 18,000 city, university, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. The UCR data is the most comprehensive source for detailed crime statistics.
A bill that would reduce Colorado’s energy standard was killed in the Transportation and Energy Committee Thursday. The legislation would have altered the language of Senate Bill 13-252, that was passed into law in 2013 and caused uproar among traditional energy advocates. SB 252 requires cooperative electric associations derive 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources. The bill, HB 14-1113, would reduce that mandate to 15 percent.
Colorado’s unemployment rate went down to 6.2 percent — which is the lowest unemployment rate for the state since winter 2008. This trend doesn’t correspond exactly with unemployment drops in rural areas, but unemployment remained low in Moffat and Routt counties. In December, Moffat County’s rate dipped to 5.1 percent and Routt County hovered at 5.6 percent. In Moffat, this is the lowest unemployment has been since at least fall 2012.
With a new legislative session underway, lawmakers already are challenging energy regulations that were signed into law in 2013. State Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, proposed Senate Bill 35, a bill that effectively would gut the renewable energy mandate. Now law, Senate Bill 13-252 requires cooperative electric associations to get at least 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020. SB 35 was swiftly introduced into the State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee on Wednesday and just as swiftly killed in committee.
Twentymile Mine in Routt County recently cut 47 contract positions, according to Peabody Energy communications manager Charlene Murdock.
The new owners of the Clarion Inn & Suites, formally the Holiday Inn, hosted a meet and greet with the community Wednesday night at the hotel. Wine and appetizers were on hand as the hotel owner Sholom Jacobs, principal at New York-based Jacobs Real Estate Advisors, mingled with local business leaders and government officials for the first time.
The steering committee for an economic development project met for the first time Tuesday. Community leaders got together to hone a vision for a better Downtown Craig. “I have an extreme interest in trying to save this town,” said Karen Brown, president of the Downtown Business Association and lead of the steering committee. Downtown Colorado Inc. performed an assessment on Craig’s downtown and business community in spring 2013 and presented the report in December.
Looking back on the past year, the staff of the Craig Daily Press has compiled the following list of some of the top stories of 2013 for Craig and Moffat County. Some topics are ongoing, some have had effects on state and national levels, but all have been significant to Northwest Colorado.
Effective Jan. 1, the minimum wage in Colorado will increase by 22 cents per hour. That means minimum wage employees will be paid $8 per hour while tipped minimum wage employees will be paid $4.98 per hour. This wage raise in accordance with the state constitution that requires the wage be adjusted with inflation.
Many local businesses saw a good amount of shoppers between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, with the people of Craig and Moffat County supporting small stores with their patronage.
Rural and urban communities need to band together to create a healthy economy. “The state and the future of our state is really linked to our rural and urban issues,” he said.
Downtown Colorado Inc. made a stop in Craig on Tuesday to go over an assessment that that had been conducted in March. Katherine Correll, executive director of Downtown Colorado Inc., said this was an opportunity to get big players in town on board with planning to boost the economy in Craig’s downtown.
It’s the affordability of flights in and out of Denver International Airport that raises one of the biggest hurdles to expanding air service out of the Yampa Valley.