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Dear Editor,

Great article on our current housing crisis! It’s about time we had detailed coverage of this vital issue in our local press.

To better understand where I’m coming from, I graduated from Summit County High School in 1960, lived in Summit County off and on for nearly 12 years. During the early 1970s, I worked a union job at the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70. I logged 40 hours of regular time and 20 hours of overtime each week. Even then, that level of income barely made ends meet due to the HIGH COST OF LIVING.

Open Doors workforce housing rental RVs now on site at Salida RV Resort Park. part of the solution to address the county’s workforce housing crisis. Bill Almquist photo

While lack of affordable real estate and housing for our workforce is an issue, the underlying problem is that high real estate prices inevitably result in higher prices for goods and services, which increase the cost of living for workforce people. In Salida and Buena Vista, fast-food chains, Walmart, and even B.V.’s local grocery store and post office are now paying $20/hour or more to attract unskilled, entry-level workers, which is reflected as an increased cost for delivering goods and services.

So, in my opinion, we not only have a workforce housing problem, we also have a workforce economy problem in the form of a very high cost of living.

The net effect has been to discourage workforce families from moving to Chaffee County. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know I will not vote for any political candidate pushing the growth and change agenda.

What we have done throughout Colorado (including Denver) is destroy our formerly affordable workforce economy through unmanaged growth, and accelerated change. End of story.

Gary E. Goms
Buena Vista, Colorado