S. Routt plans Assessment potluck

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The South Routt community is planning a potluck meal in early May to discuss progress made since the South Routt Community Economic Assessment last August.

Updates from six committees formed through the assessment were given at a meeting Monday night.

"It was a good get-back-on-track meeting so that all of the committees could report where they are," said David Bonfiglio, owner of Bonfiglio Drug in Oak Creek, who has been involved with the study since it began.

Residents, business owners and government officials who attended also discussed each group's goals, Bonfiglio said.

Each of the six committees has a goal: developing a shared vision and sense of community for South Routt, building a good foundation for economic development, developing consistency in land use regulations and development policies, supporting viable agricultural operations, finding funding for staff support for the South Routt Economic Development Council and creating partnerships with the school district, community and businesses.

The vision committee announced at the Monday meeting that about 200 residents returned surveys asking them to prioritize what they want for the community's future. About 1,400 surveys were mailed to South Routt residents in February, and the deadline to return the surveys has been extended to March 10, said Jane Stitt, who is helping to coordinate the committee.

Survey answers will help the committee define a community vision and come up with community-wide goals. The answers will be presented at the potluck dinner. The Monday meeting, Stitt said, was a good way to brainstorm with other committees.

"I definitely am pleased, and I think we're all looking at improving communication and working together," Stitt said.

The economic development committee continues to work on getting nonprofit status for the South Routt Economic Development Council and also to find seed money to fund an executive assistant to help the other committees and new businesses in town. That executive assistant could work for various groups, including the Stagecoach Property Owners Association and the Oak Creek and Phippsburg Historical Society, said committee member Bea Westwater.

The committee also announced that officials had been elected for the Economic Development Council. Ken DePaul is the president, Ken Montgomery is the vice president, Westwater is the secretary, and Barb Gehl is the treasurer.

Getting more people involved with the committee working on school and business partnerships also was discussed, with several people volunteering to help on the committee, Bonfiglio said.

The South Routt Community Economic Assessment was part of the Colorado Community Assessment Program, an economic study sponsored by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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