Highlights from the

Herald Democrat

15 years ago

Count on it

December 7, 2006

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As members of this community work toward a Community Action Plan, we all wish for a way to determine the future of Lake County. Will the mine open? What will be the impact? Are other changes in store that we can predict? Can we somehow retain the status quo?

Are you aware that between 2000 and 2005, the population of Lake County only increased by 91 people?

Those figures came from the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments and the Department of Local Affairs, and were presented at the CMC Community Advisory Committee meeting last week.

In 2000, the county’s population was 7,906, and in 2005 it was 7,997. That’s pretty stagnant growth, any way you look at it. Some in the county express a fear of changing the way things have always been done here. The lack of growth in the past somehow makes this sentiment understandable.

But that was then.

Projections have Lake County at 9,498 in 2010, 11,588 in 2015 and 18,403 in 2030. These figures don’t take into account any impact that the opening of the Climax Mine will have on this area, so it is possible they are conservative.

It is predicted that because of job growth in Eagle and Summit counties, Lake County should be fully developed by 2020 with a population between 18,000 and 20,000, according to projections of Jim Westkott of the State Demography Office.

By then all land suitable for development should be developed. Approximately 70 square miles of private land in Lake County is suitable for development, and about 40 percent has already been developed.

Again, Lake County’s growth will depend in part on what happens in Summit and Eagle counties. As of 2003, some 57 percent of all Lake County workers were working in Summit and Eagle.

Both these counties are projected to have strong growth in “residential drivers,” defined as second homes, retirees, internet-based service jobs, etc. The jobs that result from residential drivers include construction and maintenance, real estate, public safety and other government functions and jobs that meet the needs of occupants from food, services, etc.

Today, 3,500 Eagle County workers commute from another county. By 2025, this is expected to jump to 26,000. Summit County likewise will jump from 1,100 to 7,100 in the same time frame. Not all those outside workers will live in Lake County, but you can bet many of them will. They’ll also spend money, school their kids and need medical services here.

Westkott predicts that our future will see a smaller percentage of low and moderate income people in the county. In 2000, 65 percent of the families in the county made less than $50,000 annually, versus 43 percent for the state.

He also predicted a lower percentage of undocumented workers and households.

Sure, numbers can lie and projections can be iffy. But it’s too late to dig the moat. As the planning process continues, it would be wise to concentrate on what the future might bring, like it or not.

Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor

New film festival proposed for Leadville

by Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor

December 21, 2006

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There’s Cannes, there’s Sundance, and if all goes well, the Independence Film Fest will take place this coming September in Leadville.

Plans for the film fest were announced publicly at last week’s Business After Hours, and another meeting was held Monday for interested people.

The driving force behind the film fest is Lawrence David Foldes, who, along with his wife Victoria Paige Meyerink, would serve as executive director of the event.

Foldes is a film writer, producer and director whose credits include “Malibu High,” “Don’t Go Near the Park,” “Young Warriors” and “Night Force,” among others.

Most recently he spent six years on the award-winning feature film “Finding Home,” with his wife as producer.

Meyerink’s show business career began at age four when she became Danny Kaye’s co-star on his CBS television show. She has acted in a number of movies over the years and has served as producer for many of her husband’s films.

Both were associated with the Breckenridge Film Festival in the past. Recently, they were attempting to put together a festival that would involve Leadville, Copper Mountain and several locations in Summit County, but this ran into political complications, leading them to focus on Leadville and Twin Lakes for the new festival. The name of the festival comes from Independence Pass.

Foldes said that Leadville is the perfect place for a film festival and praised the venues available in town for showing films, including the Tabor Opera House, the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum Conference Center, the Old Church and the auditorium at Lake County High School.

Dates for the festival are Sept. 6-9, 2007. This was originally the weekend of the Breckenridge festival, but that town will be moving its festival to a spring date in 2007.

Both funding and volunteers will be necessary to make the film fest a reality. Foldes stressed that he was not going to make any money himself this first year, and in fact would be making a contribution.

The Marketing Action Committee is donating $2,000, and other donations have come from Mayor Bud Elliott and David Norbut of the Silver King Inn.

Grants are a possibility, but are more likely for subsequent years due to the time frame.

Costs for the first year are estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

A buy-in for the festival from locals would need to come by early January due to the time frame. Those with questions or who wish to contribute to the festival can contact Elliott, Norbut, Gail Dunning or Amy Tait.

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