Green River Star -

Our view: City needs development agency

 


Green River needs an economic development agency to bring businesses to our city.

While a few readers may have strong opinions about Green River Futures Inc., regardless of their stance, they would be hard pressed to disagree that Futures’ departure resulted in a void for economic development in Green River.

It’s a void that can only be filled by someone trained in economic development. It’s not a void the city’s community development department can fill. It’s not something Green River Main Street can take on by itself. The Green River Chamber of Commerce could lend a hand in promoting economic development, but has chosen not to due to worries about fostering competition with member businesses, which is completely understandable.

We need an economic development agency to support Green River. More businesses means more diversity, which leads to more interest in places like downtown Green River and Green River as a place to live. This city has always been a fantastic place to live, with a top notch school system and friendly neighbors. However, attracting more business to Green River could help the city grow in the places it can support the growth.

In previous editorials, we’ve written about how commercial development space is very limited throughout the city. That’s true and a real concern. Yet, there are spaces along Flaming Gorge Way and along Uinta that could house a few businesses. Small lots are available for potential building as well.

With Western Wyoming Community College spearheading the movement to make Sweetwater County certified as a work ready community through ACT, it’s possible more eyes will focus on the county. A few of those eyes may look at Green River as a place to set-up shop.

There are people willing to bet on Green River being a viable place to own a business. Next to our building, work continues on what will eventually become a tire shop. Many of downtown Green River’s business owners have already made that bet.

Economic development and growing a city may seem like a chicken and egg type of question, but we believe economic development is the engine that grows a city. The boom the oil and gas industry brought Sweetwater and Sublette Counties is proof of that. While sudden and sharp development can lead to a number of problems, slow sustainable growth that an economic development agency can provide the city will help Green River and its residents in the future.

 

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