Vote ‘yes’ on 5A, 2A for our economic future | CraigDailyPress.com

Vote ‘yes’ on 5A, 2A for our economic future

Michelle Balleck for the Craig Press

Michelle Perry

Along with financial security, we know that quality of life is the key attraction and retention tool for talent in our workforce and our communities.

We also know that our local business owners pride themselves on calling Craig and Moffat County home. In CMEDP's Moffat County Business Climate Survey conducted earlier this year, "quality of "life" was cited by the 79 participating business owners/managers as the community factor with which they are most satisfied.

We enjoy that way of living in a variety of ways: health, safety, education, open space and recreation, well-maintained streets, support system and a sense of belonging.

In order to maintain this level of community satisfaction, we need to make investments in our community's future, even — or rather, especially — in light of economic fear and declining population.

That's why Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership encourages "yes" votes on both Moffat County Affiliated Junior College Referred Measure 5A and city of Craig Referred Measure 2A.

Referred Measure 5A supports the Craig campus of Colorado Northwestern Community College by authorizing a property tax increase of $2 million in 2018 and an increase of no more than 5 mills in subsequent years. These funds will be used primarily to build on-campus student housing.

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Offering residence halls makes CNCC a more attractive place to attend college, bringing more students with innovative ideas to our community. We can strengthen our workforce through increased enrollment and responsive training programs for business needs.

As our community's leaders work to diversify our economy, we need to work to meet the evolving demands of our industries. Investing in a strong community college is the key to doing that, through workforce expansion and development.

Referred Measure 2A will raise $2.1 million annually for the city of Craig through a 1.75-percent sales tax increase, with a couple of exemptions.

While city revenue has remained flat since 2008, expenses have steadily increased. The city is operating as efficiently as possible, yet, has delayed more than $2 million in capital investments that impact the services we've come to take for granted in our daily lives.

Think of the amenities we enjoy thanks to the city of Craig: police protection, maintained roads, a lap and wave pool, youth sports programs, school resource officers, senior trips, 55 acres of parks and the list goes on.

Your "yes" votes on these issues help us to maintain and grow services so we can develop into the community we want to be.

Remember, ballots will be mailed beginning Oct. 16. Return your ballot by 7 p.m. Nov. 7 to the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

Both 2A and 5A represent important steps toward Craig's diverse and thriving economy and are a way for us to all continue to appreciate this beautiful, safe community we call home. I believe our community is a great place to live and do business, and I hope you will join me in investing in our future.

Michelle Balleck is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.