Friday, April 30th is the Grand Opening of The Touber Building. The festivities start at 2:00 PM. Everyone is invited. The remodeling of the the old Hospital is complete and Chaffee County Health and Social Services are open for business. Salida’s City Hall is mostly housed in the older wing of the building that was built in 1900. There will be tours of the new facility so we can all appreciate the transformation.
The Grand Opening of The Touber Building and the signing, by Poncha Springs and Salida, of the Sewer Services Agreement are examples of challenging issues brought to a positive place through collaboration and cooperation. As has been said many times, the conversion of the old hospital could not have been done in the same way if only one of our local governments had attempted the project on their own. The coming together of the county and the city has maintained a historic building and the surrounding grounds for the enjoyment and pride for all of us.
Everyone knows the heated nature of the relationship between Salida and Poncha Spring over the various sewer agreements over the past 40 plus years. The regionalization of the Salida and Poncha wastewater systems represents a change in the relationship between our two cities. The chief benefit to all the southern end of Chaffee County will be the assurance of water quality in the “little river”. My belief is that this is just the first step in rebuilding trust between Poncha Springs and Salida. I hope this is a beginning for future collaborations.
The two examples I just described, can only occur when governments and their citizens choose to work together. Chaffee County is a small area with a small population when compared to the rest of Colorado. We can thrive in the current economic climate if we recognize that cooperation and collaboration give us a larger voice in any discussion of all major issues that effect us. We are always stronger working together rather than going it alone.
We have several possibilities for cooperation coming our way soon. Should Salida School District R 32 J gain one or both BEST grants they will be coming to the voters to find funds to match the grant. I am convinced that the area that shows significant support for education will draw the people and business that will keep it vital. We have an advantage with the livability and beauty that fills every corner of our home. To magnify that advantage and put us ahead of any other area is what a strong support of education would do. Support of education is the ultimate economic developer.
I urge everyone to reconsider prejudices towards people of other beliefs. Everyone has something to offer. By cutting the discussion off by speaking in the current polarizing language of slam television and radio reduces the possibility of hearing the great idea that someone different might have to offer. It might be the one idea that brilliantly makes this place better for all of us. It is by working together we will come out ahead in this challenging time.
Hope to see you at the Touber Building Grand Opening.