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Economic Development

FACT: Rio Grande County is one of the poorest areas in the entire country! While we cannot control the amount of resources (e.g. water, etc.) we are given, we can definitely control how we manage those resources.

There is a basic economic principle that states, "when resources are scarce, pooling the resources of multiple entities causes these resources to go further." We are facing limited resources in every corner of Rio Grande County. While we have heard talk of cooperation, there has been an unwillingness on the part of the current Commissioners to truly work together to overcome our challenges. 

Del Norte, South Fork, and Monte Vista have made great strides towards working together and utilizing what we have for everyone's benefit. The County still seems to believe it is an island, that it is not accountable to the other entitles in the region.

Proximity Malt has been an incredible boost to the economy of the entire county. In fact according to economic developer Frank Gray, "the amount of jobs Proximity Malt provides for Rio Grande County has the same economic impact as 35,000 jobs in Denver!" When Proximity Malt first wanted to move into where the old Staley's Starch Plant used to be, there was a zoning issue with the County. Instead of welcoming the economic boost, the County considered not fixing the zoning issue and forcing Proximity Malt to locate elsewhere! Joe personally went to the County Commissioners and asked them to fix the issue. After much deliberation, the Commissioners reluctantly did so and Proximity Malt was constructed.

Near the end of construction, Proximity Malt had some financial issues and asked Monte Vista and the County Commissioners for nearly $100,000.00. Karla Shriver promised $10,000.00 from the County. Monte Vista made the investment in Proximity Malt but the County never kept their promise. 

It is time we start keeping our promises! Being the Right Choice, means making the right decisions for the right reasons.


Committee to Elect Joe Schlabach
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