S. Routt meeting a success

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One of the first steps South Routt should take to develop its economy is to form a shared vision and build a sense of community in the area.

That decision was made by those who attended a community meeting Wednesday that was a follow-up to the recent South Routt County Community Assessment.

The meeting was well attended and energetic, said David Bonfiglio, an Oak Creek business owner who has been involved with the assessment.

"We got a lot of work done in a short time in terms of organizing," he said. "Pretty much all of the players were represented and that's what you have to have to make something happen."

Representatives from each South Routt community and from the county attended the meeting.

For three days in August, a team of private sector business people and public officials studied economic conditions in the South Routt communities of Oak Creek, Stagecoach, Phippsburg, Yampa and Toponas.

The study was part of the Colorado Community Assessment Program. At the end of the meetings and tours in August, the team presented recommendations for how South Routt could best develop economically.

Wednesday, community members voted on which recommendations they wanted to pursue first.

One ground rule of the meeting to help focus discussions was that no new recommendations could be offered, said Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, the assessment coordinator.

Each person attending had five votes to decide which of 21 recommendations they wanted to pursue first. The No. 1 vote-getter was the recommendation to develop a shared vision for South Routt's future and to work on building a sense of community among the towns and residents of South Routt, Stahoviak said.

Other top recommendations included developing and building business opportunities; developing greater consistency in zoning regulations; working on agricultural research and preserving agricultural lands; determining the appropriate way to carry the Economic Development Council's goals through; and developing entrepreneurial education in the district.

Teams have been organized to work on each recommendation.

The next community meeting is at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at the South Routt Community Center in Oak Creek.

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