State of the County brings in health care keynote speaker |

State of the County brings in health care keynote speaker

Erin Fenner

It’s the time of year for the county to take a look back to see how best to move forward.

The annual State of the County set for 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion Inn and Suites will host addresses by Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers and Mayor Terry Carwile and feature keynote speaker, Steven Summers, president of the Colorado Hospital Association.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce also will announce the recipients of the Business of the Year awards.

“It’s great that we can get such a high-quality speaker to come over, so we hope we have a packed house to give him the audience that someone of his caliber deserves,” said Christina Oxley, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce. “We have amazing nominations for business awards, and that’s always exciting to see how that pans out. I just expect it to be very educational and entertaining night.”

Summers was selected to speak because of his insight into health care — knowledge that is crucial at this juncture, Oxley said.

“This year, health care is such a huge topic. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, rising insurance prices, businesses are really trying go figure out what benefits to offer,” she said. “There’s been so many unanswered questions about this.”

Summer’s keynote will provide some clarity about health care issues for county residents, Oxley said.

This also will be a chance for residents to get a better idea of what challenges the county has faced and how elected officials intend to tackle those challenges.

“From both the city and county perspective, they did really have to tighten the belt and take a hard look at their budgets,” Oxley said. “This is a great opportunity to look at the process they went through.”

The past year was a tough one for Moffat, Carwile said.

“We’re still not seeing any new home construction. To me, that’s a basic weakness,” he said.

Besides a lack of growth, there’s also been a lot of change Craig has had to deal with.

“It’s been a pretty high year of transitions,” he said, citing local leaders moving out of town and businesses leaving. “I suppose having a bit of a dynamic situation is preferable to static. There are some exciting things coming up.”

Oxley agreed that while the area faced some obstacles, there were opportunities.

“Both the city and county have some really exciting projects going on,” she said. “Even when things get a little bit tight, we still have a lot of positives to celebrate.”

Tickets for the event are $50, but Chamber members can buy tickets for $40. Dinner and drinks are included in the ticket price.

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or

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