Lance Scranton: Leaving a legacy in the end
The sky is falling, and as my good friend used to tell me was a common saying around Craig in the late 80’s: “Last one to leave, turn out the lights.” The news about Tri-State planning to close down our local power plant and mines in the next 10 years was not the best news as 2020 begins. This issue has been something that has been discussed for years but something usually happened to stave off the inevitable. The inevitable isn’t the closing of a large part of Craig and Moffat County’s economic base, but instead, it’s change.
Change is going to happen in and around our community and some people will try and escape that reality by relocating. But due to forces we have empowered or things beyond our control, our country is in the midst of change. Our community will look different in ten years and we can wallow or wake up. Craig isn’t going to become a ghost town but it will not be what it is today. This is the reality of the changes that will take place in our community over the next few years and we, as a community, should begin the process of making certain that companies leaving our area (who have made millions using our local resources) leave our community and county with as much ability to prosper as possible.
We should begin to get out in front of the possibility that a large portion of our tax base will dry up in the next few years. Our community has talked about a recreation center and upgrades to our infrastructure for years and now is the time to act. This rather large company must have legacy plans for withdrawing from a community and it is incumbent upon Tri-State to make some sacrifices to help make our community sustainable. Sustainability is one of the reasons given for the future shut down so how about helping us sustain our community.
We can all get behind facing reality and change which is the inevitable reality of our immediate future. It’s more important now than ever that we commit to making Craig the kind of place that we will be proud to live in after Tri-State has left our area. We will be a smaller town but we can also be a stronger town that has spent the next 10 years positioning ourselves to be able to welcome people to our nice, quieter, little town on the Western Slope and proudly call Craig home!