Drugs, alcohol, junk draw interest

Members of Cimarron County's Chamber of commerce, and its LEAD Committee met to begin forming a strategic plan for the county.

Also in attendance were the representative of one county bank, one state employee, a member of one Federal Agency, several businessmen and one Agri-businessman.

Marty Albright, of the O.S.U. Extension office under whose auspices the LEAD Committee operates began by giving an overhead synopsis of the survey sent out to more than one-thousand county residents.

Sixty-nine families or individuals responded to the open-ended questions of the survey.

According to the survey:

Sixty-two percent of the respondents have lived in the county for more than 20 years and only one percent have lived here for five years or less.

The respondents would like to see:

City/county employees keep vacant lots mowed.

Use the vast potential of Boise City.

Clean up the county so we won't have the reputation as the Panhandle's junk yard.

I take pride in my community because there is not a place on earth like it--I would love any change.

If some greedy person hadn't priced land so high we could have had a slaughter house.

It [the county] needs a McDonald's or Wal-Mart. (A Dollar General or Wal-Mart were the most requested businesses wanted in the county. Least wanted--Hog farms or Seaboard)

It would help if Keyes would support the county instead of Kansas.

Make strong efforts to educate our teens and preteens on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Thirty-five percent of the respondents gave their annual income as $20 to $40 thousand per year.

Fifty-three percent gave their zip code as 73933 (Boise City)

Thirty-three percent gave their age as 65 or older; six-percent were age 18 to 25.

Of the 69 respondents, 11 cited community improvement and development as areas they'd be interested in working to help the county; seven, said services for the elderly. The rest brought up a diverse group of items including: Economic development, health care, Christian Ministries, team roping and oil and gas.

In answering the survey question as to what would improve the community/county, 39 percent said cleaning up old houses, junk, another eight percent said beautification and five percent each mentioned community pride and junk cars.

In answering the question of what is the county's strengths, nine percent said our work ethic, eight percent our churches and four percent friendliness and good citizens.

(The survey results are 13 pages front and back. A copy may be picked up at the Extension office-Ed.)

Chamber consultant demonstrates a strategic plan.

Don Cox, a retired economic development and chamber of commerce executive has graciously volunteered to help the Cimarron County Chamber to establish a strategic plan.

Cox used a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Matrix to begin the building process.

County's strengths:

H Location

H Availability to Higher Education-O.P.S.U.

H Transportation hub.

H Good civic organizations.

Weaknesses:

H Limited population

H Outward migration

H limited housing and shopping.

Opportunities

H Port-to-Plains

H Potential wind energy

H Tourism

H Schools

Threats:

H Lack of communication between governing entities

H Changing dynamic

H Loss of businesses and young people