East Carbon explores options for alleviating city 's economic woes
An approximate 70 percent cut back in employees at the ECDC landfill in East Carbon City during the next month will mean a significant financial loss for the economy of the small town, leaving a large number of people unemployed in the community.
A presentation by Fred Bohman given at the East Carbon City Council meeting on Tuesday confirmed the negative economic fact.
The creator of the Ama-amA line of nutritional products and marketer Real Nutrition Products offered the mayor and council members several ideas he believed would benefit the city in times of economic hardship.
Bohman worked in the United States Peace Corps in Guatemala and El Salvador developing rural agriculture programs.
Bohman apparently attended the East Carbon council meeting after a friend asked him to develop suggestions to improve the city's economic issues.
"You have a community here with a lot of dollars flowing out," said Bohman.
The town would not want to bring in anything that might ruin the community, added Bohman. Examples included large out of state companies.
Bringing in the companies would only create problems where money would be flowing out of the community and even out of the state, not benefiting the city.
One company mentioned by Bohman was Wal-Mart. However, he admitted having a bias against the retail chain due to a supposed 87 percent of the company's earnings going out of the country.
Bohman mentioned several ways he believed could bring money back into the community and keep the revenue in the city.
One idea mentioned at the council meeting was building facilities in the East Carbon area for housing elderly people.
Government funding is supposedly available for the construction projects.
Bohman mentioned the need for elderly housing and the desire for peaceful surroundings such as East Carbon City to build the facilities in.
Bohman said that government property along with government funds could be used on building these facilities that could be city owned and not private.
Building materials for the housing units could possibly be made out of an old salt mine in the area.
Bohman said a new building material made has been developed by adding a polymer to salt water, forming a solid block.
"The amount of jobs it would provide for the community and the preparation of just people working there, maintenance there," Bohman said. "It would be people in the community with jobs."
Another idea was the creation of a greenhouse for growing vegetables that could be sold inside of the community instead of community members purchasing vegetables from stores outside of the community.
East Carbon City has "incredible southern access for greenhouses" within the community, noted Bohman. "There is such a demand not only in Utah but in the whole intermountain west for greens out of greenhouses, tomatoes, lettuce." He said that these vegetables would be bought up in great demand by stores such as Albertsons and Smiths.
"Putting a project together like this is no easy task. But you have resources in this community and people that have the education, the ability to put together a business plan. The money is there. The state has the money. They're going to give it to somebody. It might as well be a community like yourself."
Most of the state funds mentioned would be grants, said Bohman. The adding of a loan to the city, even a low interest loan, would be difficult for East Carbon City to pay.
One meeting attendee also mentioned that the demographics of the area would also make the city eligible for grants.
"You're sitting out here on a total asset," Bohman said.