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City and community business leaders gather for State of the Valley

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce hosted city and community business leaders for the annual State of the Valley Luncheon at the Grand Junction Convention Center.

Organizers said the Valley State Luncheon gives business owners the opportunity to meet with city and county officials in a more intimate setting to discuss issues and projects happening in the community. and which affect the economy.

“It’s kind of the only place where all of our businesses are invited to come, to hear from not just the city of Grand Junction, not just the county, not just Fruita, but the whole community down in the valley,” said said Diana. Schwenke, president and CEO of the Grand Junction area chamber. “It’s a really good place for them to see what the government is doing. We all know the government impacts businesses with what they do, so it’s really kind of providing them with information that they can use and bring back to their businesses.

The lunch included a panel with leaders from Grand Junction City, Fruita City, the City of Palisade and Mesa County. Attendees were able to ask the leaders questions about events happening in the community. One of the hot topics for Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis was the county’s efforts to bring high-speed Internet to all municipalities in Mesa County.

“We are investigating this area and seeing how we can improve broadband in Mesa County,” Davis said. “From our perspective, what we want to do is invest in this middle ground infrastructure so that private industry can really come in and compete now. Because as it exists today, there is not a lot of intermediate infrastructure that companies can connect to.

Davis also said the county is looking for ways to use U.S. bailout funding wisely. Some of that, he said, is destined for the east end of town.

“A lot of that goes to Clifton at our early childhood education center,” Davis said. “Clifton has a babysitting desert. Something like over 2,000 students who could use it, but only about 40 places are open. »

One of the other topics discussed by many city leaders was the housing problem facing the valley.

“Housing is actually one of the city council‘s strategic initiatives,” said Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout. “This is a priority issue for us. This is something for which we invest money in finding solutions.

Stout said the city is not only concerned about the number of rental units available, but also the number of affordable and accessible units.

“Because we have people in rental units who may want to buy a house or are able to buy a house, but there are no houses available or no houses available in their price range” , Stout said.

Like any other community, Stout said we have our challenges, but she feels the state of the Valley is doing well.

“I think as long as we continue to cooperate across different agencies, different governments, involving our business community, involving our nonprofit community, the state of the community will continue to be strong,” Stout said.

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