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Huerfano County: Economic growth in the tea leaves

by Bill Knowles

WALSENBURG – A new group looking at the economic possibilities for Huerfano County is beginning to take shape.  However before it can move forward the group will have to work through some basic issues.

    Before the economic development group can offer positive solutions to the business picture of Huerfano County it will have to be decided whether they will work under the umbrella of the 501(c) 3 charter of the Huerfano County Economic Development committee already in existence or operate in tandem with the HCED but under its own nonprofit charter.

    If the group decides to form a separate 501 (c) 3 and work independently its focus would be on projects to revitalize areas the group sees as necessary.  

    “The emphasis is on the entire county; La Veta, Gardner, Walsenburg and Cuchara,” Al Tucker said.  Tucker had been asked by Edi Sheldon to chair the next meeting by Edi Sheldon.  Sheldon usually chairs the event.

    “However both groups should seek to maintain a close relationship with each other so they wouldn’t be in competition and have a common goal in focus,” Tucker explained. 

    A final decision on the relationship status of both groups will be made when a set of goals defining economic development have been established.

    One of the issues discussed is the development of a collaborative website linking with other community websites highlighting the strengths of the communities throughout Huerfano County.  This would also help in presenting information on incentives to encourage businesses to relocate into the area. 

    Committees were also formed to begin basic research into available resources for the county and establish a plan for Main Street in Walsenburg along with upgrading the city’s image.  

    Both the city and county will be sponsoring clean up programs  in the future along with the annual trash days where the city provides dumpsters for yard debris.  The Huerfano World Journal is also sponsoring a community cleanup program with cash incentives.

    “We have to pull together to overcome general apathy so when we look at it we see more good sides then bad sides and focus on going forward,” Tucker said.

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