Representatives of Good Business Colorado, a Denver nonprofit that works with local businesses throughout Colorado, visited Leadville on Monday for a conversation about COVID-19 pandemic recovery and climate change.
The event, which took place at Freight, was attended by several Lake County leaders, including Cloud City Conservation Center Executive Director Emily Olsen, Commissioner Jeff Fiedler, Golden Burro Cafe owner Dan Lundeen and Colorado Mountain College Vice President and Campus Dean for Leadville and Salida campuses Ben Cairns.
Following presentations from Good Business Colorado (GBC) Director of Policy Angelique Espinoza, participants broke out into smaller groups to discuss a range of issues, from affordable housing to sustainability practices, in Lake County.
GBC Director of Membership Jordan Pryczynski said a number of participants cited affordable housing as a significant issue that plagues Lake County. Lake County Build Generation Housing Lead Coordinator Kristi Galarza offered updates on local housing initiatives, including upcoming ballot measures.
Espinoza said that local leaders were also interested in improving recycling programs throughout Lake County; however, a lack of infrastructure presents a costly barrier. Business owners who attended the event said they use a significant amount of cardboard each week and would like an easier way to recycle the material.
To continue the conversation of sustainability, Olsen mentioned that as new buildings are erected in Lake County, such as subdivisions and the new Lake County Elementary School, that Xcel Energy should assist in fronting the cost of installing sustainable energy sources. Olsen added that a solar farm that directly serves Lake County would also benefit local communities and the environment.
Following Monday’s visit, GBC is continuing its “listening tour” to Chaffee County. Espinoza said the tour will inform a comprehensive report that GBC will use to lobby during the next legislative session, which begins in January.