On May 18th at the Almont Resort over 100 members of the Gunnison Valley community came together to hear about the draft One Valley Prosperity Strategy (the Strategy). The community heard from Clark Anderson of Community Builders and Marjo Curgus of Del Corazon Consulting about the four action areas of the plan—affordable housing, community health and equity, economic resiliency and sustainable tourism and recreation. Anderson explained, “We discussed the big picture thinking that went into the OVPP and how the community wants to move the needle to make the Gunnison Valley a more prosperous place.”
At the event, participants had the chance to review poster boards describing the strategic approaches each area of the plan will focus on. The public was then asked to weigh in on the plan and let OVPP organizers know how well (or not) the plan reflected the concerns and values of the community. Individual feedback was received in person and online. The attendance and participation throughout the OVPP have been significant. Julie Feier, Chair of the Community Builders Task Force, expressed her appreciation, “people really came out and showed their commitment and love for our community by participating and engaging in the OVPP throughout the past year—thank you to all those who joined us!”
The Community Builders Task Force has been working since the May 18th meeting to review the feedback and determine how best to integrate the feedback into the Strategy. Cathie Pagano, Gunnison County Senior Planner said, “The overall feedback on the Strategy was positive. Community members expressed that they felt the plan mostly aligned with our community values and was headed in the right direction. There were issues that came up multiple times including: the high cost of healthcare, the importance of agriculture, the need and importance of more affordable housing and a general desire for the One Valley Prosperity Strategy to be implemented—not just sit on the shelf.”
Out of the feedback surveys received, 84% of respondents said the Strategy is “very aligned” or “mostly aligned” with our community values. 78% of survey respondents said that they “completely agree” or “mostly agree” that the Strategy moves us in the right direction.
After review of the feedback, modifications to the One Valley Prosperity Strategy have been made including an emphasis on the importance of agriculture to the Valley and its residents, the high cost of health insurance and healthcare services compared to other areas in the State, the importance of nonprofits and our understanding that the Gunnison Valley is part of the national and global environment and economy.
The Strategy is now being finalized and will be available to the public at the end of June. Most importantly—work has already begun to implement the actions in the Strategy. The Tourism Association, in cooperation with staff from the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, have rolled out the “Mountain Manners” program and a guide for all the camping locations in the Valley to deter illegal camping and destruction of our natural resources. The Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority is about to get started on a Housing Needs Assessment which will help local governments and nonprofits determine the exact housing needs in our community and begin addressing them. The City of Gunnison is discussing a Complete Streets project on Tomichi Avenue and Main Street which will enhance the economic vitality of the Gunnison Valley. The Community Foundation, in collaboration with Western, has nearly completed a searchable, comprehensive guide to health services which will reside on the Library website.
As on respondent said, “Thanks! It’s a huge project, we just gotta keep it rollin’!”
Visit www.onevalleyprosperity.com for more information.