06-25-12 *ACTION 22 NEWS* Editorial – Thoughts to Ponder – Cathy Garcia…Highway, Electricity, Health Issues, Prison Closure & MORE…
Posted by Brian Allmer on June 25, 2012
The area lacks a four-lane east-west highway, which if constructed, would enhance Southern Colorado’s ability to attract new business to the area. Action 22 supports the four-laning of Hwy. 50 from Kansas to Pueblo and Hwy. 160 from Walsenburg to Durango which would also alleviate the traffic from I-70. We know that there are no funds to double lane those highways, however, if passing lanes could be installed, it would greatly enhance traffic movement and assist areas in attracting business.
The San Luis Valley is at maximum capacity for power (electricity) and does not have a redundant system to protect the Valley. The area, along with Huerfano County, needs more power in order to keep their entities/businesses from suffering blackouts and to attract new business. Transmission lines are needed to create the redundant system and provide more power.
Health issues are also of concern. In Southern Colorado, the health regions (CDPHE) 6, 7, and 8 have the highest diabetes rate. Access to health is another issue in various locations.
In addition, broadband infrastructure is very much needed in the region for attracting new business. Broadband infrastructure not only helps in accessing internet services but it can also attract “back office” operations like taking reservations for the Hyatt in New York.
Retaining water in the region is a must.
The Southern Colorado region has been hit hard with the closure of Ft. Lyon prison and most recently, the CSPII announcement. With projected prison closures and elimination of jobs at Trinidad and Buena Vista, the private prison situation (Crowley County is now the poorest county in the state and currently has two prisons, one a state prison and the other private), the cuts facing our community colleges, the potential of losing Amtrak, the lack of research universities, etc., all point to more loss of jobs in Southern Colorado.
Just this past week, June 16, jobs were lost when CCA (private prisons) announced layoffs of 54 employees. That impact on those communities (Crowley and Bent counties) is the same as losing 1400 jobs in Pueblo.
Citizens, community and elected leaders need to work together collaboratively to bring in the resources needed in Southern Colorado.
Start by attending the meetings with Cabinet members.
EMPOWER SOUTHERN COLORADO
Action 22 and AT&T invite you to visit with Governor John Hickenlooper’s cabinet.