Letter to the Editor: Economic Growth
Already, we are beginning to hear the echoes of promises for a greater visionary dedication and, much needed, economic growth in our county. The political arena reopened with the Republican and Democrat conventions recently and nominations were taken for candidates to fill the available position in the Emery County Commission.
Political aspirations can be a good thing if the individuals desires are in line with the benefits effecting the population they are representing. Personal gain, usually, is a dominate motivating factor in wanting to become a representative rather than communal accomplishment. Not because of lack of monitory compensation or notoriety, but more directly linked, unfortunately to level of competency and fortitude.
There is a general consensus among the masses that; "there is a need for a good, well planned and executed blue print for designing economic growth and development in this county." Certainly it takes a lot of money to start a new business. With a large sum of start-up cash a business would be able to; start, complete, hire employees and continue with a positive cash flow. This means investing millions compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars that is considered to be a fair amount for start-up assistance by some.
Small businesses are an essential part of a good local economy. Although statistics show that a great deal of small businesses fail in the first two years. Start-up funds have helped several individuals with their financial needs in procuring a new "small business." Large businesses are less prone to act on small incentives. Therefore our economy will not grow by leaps and bounds as one would hope.
Analyzing the reasons for a larger business not locating in this area it comes to mind that; (1) Work force is inadequate. Not enough labor ready people to man a large company such as box store. (2) Competition for wages set by high paying industry already established here(coal mines and power plant). (3) Distance to railhead for cost effective transportation. Other restrictions exist, not so easily detected which cause the failure of large industry participation.
Polls exist for information gathering. Polling the population of our "Great Nation" it was concluded, from the survey, that the people on a national level were most concerned about (1) the economy, and (2) the war in Iraq. These two issues have interchanged in ranking of importance a few times in the last year. On a local level the most important issue would be their relationship to the immediate economy (assumption). A valid survey would prove this theory.
As a major supplier of electrical power to parts of the Union, it is apparent that it has a direct impact on the area. There is a great demand on the infrastructure presently and there is no indication of reduction. Coal haul roads are deteriorating, fast. Municipal water and waste systems are adequate but rates, for use, are being increased to off-set increased costs rather than being compensated by impact fees as anticipated.
It is not clear if the compensation for industrial impact directly correlates to the reimbursement received. It is a "given;" the county receives a portion of the taxes levied against the power industry. These portions of revenue are reinvested in paying for debt services accrued by the Service District and others. Could there be a more liberal slice of the pie received locally? How does one make a fair assessment of the pay for damage received.
Creating a better economic growth pattern would serve the county well. By doing so it would generate more proceeds to compensate for the impact of major industries. May the force be with those entrusted to generate this livelihood for all of the local residents.