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What readers had to say this week about local stories, June 23-30

People weigh in on labor shortages in Durango, infrastructure investments in the La Posta area and Purple Cliffs homeless camp closure

Each week we highlight some of the most insightful, passionate and witty comments shared on Facebook in response to stories in The Durango Herald.

This week, readers weighed in on Durango’s labor shortages, investment in infrastructure for the La Posta Road (County Road 213) area just south of city limits, and discussions to close Purple Cliffs homeless camp on Sept. 30.

We enjoy readers’ input and reactions to local stories: People can weigh in on our Facebook page, at the bottom of local news stories at www.durangoherald.com and by writing a letter to the editor.

Here are a few comments that stood out this week:

Story: Durango employers get creative to combat labor shortages
Kallen Snow scans lift passes at Purgatory Resort. Snow and her partner built a camping van and are living in it to help reduce expenses. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

“There is no labor shortage, there is a pay shortage. Pay people a livable wage and they will work.” – Lia Purplewood

“Lia Purplewood, I think Lance is right on the money. You can’t expect to enter the work force making what you call a living wage. However, with consistency and hard work you can move up quickly to make more money while gaining real experience with skills to become an entrepreneur and even start your own business. It would be helpful if the public school system and higher education for that matter focused more on this type of approach to teaching students how to survive in the real world rather than becoming victims or expecting to be paid a living wage salary without any real work experience. Life’s hard and you can’t expected it handed to you. You have to go get it.” – Eric M Speck

“Employers do not pay enough. Any big box or corporate employer is enjoying huge profits for executives and shareholders while at the same time complaining that no one wants to work for 11.00 per hour. $11/hr equates to $22000/yr before taxes. You can’t pay less than $600/ month for a room in town which is $7,200/yr. That’s a minimum of 1/3 of that yearly salary. Gift bags, 10-cent raises, and pizza parties do not make up for this disparity.” – Chris George

“Well if I was in my early 20’s without any family help I would probably not be living in Durango either. The liberal belief that voting democrat is good is turning out to be wrong. Our city and county government has created such an issue over the last 30 years here (along with the rich snobs) to keep out any and all good jobs and industries. They have restricted growth and relied on tourism (seasonal low paying jobs) for the economy which has all resulted in a housing shortage along with skyrocketing prices. COVID-19 accelerated it just like the rest of the country thanks to low interest rates. We shall see what happens when the bust comes, Durango is a bit insulated as we saw in 2008 prices came down some but not for long and not nearly hit as hard as other parts of the country.” – Josh Cool

“Yep. How about the amount of 2nd homes in the area that sit vacant, while workers struggle to find a place to live? Yes, the shortage was there before the pandemic, and Real estate agents have been the only ones who can seem to afford to live in this town anymore. It’s not a mystery really: 1. Lack of decent, affordable housing due to over abundance of second home owners. 2. Lack of decent high paying jobs. I would argue though, that coffee shop workers and bartenders are probably making a killing with the tips they rake in.” – Jenny Alsum

Story: Durango invests in infrastructure designs ahead of anticipated growth in La Posta area
The commercial area on La Posta Road (County Road 213) is receiving attention from Durango and La Plata County governments. They agree the city should begin annexing portions of the area in order to install a sewer system and improve the roads and intersections ahead of anticipated future development. (Durango Herald file)

“So, once they’re built they’ll go at above market rate too because of construction costs right? There is no such thing as affordable housing in Durango. It’s been pushing the people out who make this town go round for years.” – Jarome Jenkins

“As long as people with high 6-figure incomes (from somewhere else) find Durango a desirable place to live, locals will never be able to compete in the housing market with their 50K salary. I remember in the late 80's the warnings from the citizens, but nobody listened.” – JJ Wilson

“’Affordable housing’ NOT ‘Low income housing’ ...there is a huge difference in the two, especially in places where the price of real estate is extremely high.“ – Yoa Louise

Story: La Plata County, city of Durango discuss Sept. 30 closure of Purple Cliffs homeless camp
La Plata County is determined to close the Purple Cliffs homeless camp on La Posta Road (County Road 213) on Sept. 30, regardless of whether a new managed campsite has been identified or secured. County commissioners met with Durango City Council on Wednesday to discuss the county’s closure plan and how the two governments can work together to find a new location for unhoused residents. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

“Simple/not so simple… First, protect those children who have zero choice to live there. Then help those who need and want it. The rest, help them move on. Take a stance against the ACLU. This problem isn’t going to get better if La Plata County government & City of Durango government continue to enable. The current way is not sustainable. Riding on our beautiful river trail today with a tour group was, to say the least, embarrassing, sad and disgusting to smell urine and feces with a large group hunkered under the Ninth Street bridge. Please keep public health and safety paramount. Let our community know you will not enforce behaviors that threaten our community and the visitors that are important in sustaining the growth of our town.” – Brian Hawk Welsh

“How about allocating a million or so of the Biden budget-busting, inflation-flaming stimulus money now with the city (formerly allocated to purchasing dwelling units for the homeless) to a defense fund to oppose the ACLU? Boulder’s doing it. Online funding drive for this might surprise a few. Why is ‘outside expertise needed urgently’? To deflect political responsibility from the elected counselors, of course. That’s also why the non-elected city manager picks the site.” – Robert Evans

Reader Comments