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The 'buzz' about economic development

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Economic development was the focus of a presentation by Delta city manager David Torgler, who spoke at a Delta Area Chamber of Commerce gathering Tuesday morning.

In addition to providing an update on DURA (see related stories), Torgler talked about broadband and blighted properties.

High-speed broadband has arrived in Delta -- at least to carrier neutral locations. The city is working on agreements with the internet service providers who will take broadband into homes and businesses. The city is hoping multiple providers will lead to competitive pricing.

The city is also working on a project to remove or rehab blighted properties, using a $507,000 community development black grant awarded in June 2016. The city conducted market, environmental and historical analyses of five properties. Three were determined to be "historic," including the old armory. A quick show of hands revealed only two people in the audience who remember when the armory was occupied. It's been sitting vacant for decades, unable to attract any interest from buyers.

Because the historic properties entail more red tape, the city is focusing on two buildings which have no historic significance, West's Home Center on Main Street and Odyssey Construction on Highway 92. Torgler explained purchase and demolition of Odyssey's quonset hut will allow the city to re-align Henry Street, which would also meet the goals of an access plan developed in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Finally, Torgler wanted to make the business owners aware of economic incentives available to new or existing businesses that make a considerable investment in plant, equipment, building, operations or staffing. The policy can be viewed on the city website, www.cityofdelta.net.

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