12By Julie Johansen
Have you noticed the hustle and bustle at the former Central Warehouse west of Orangeville? The Huntsman brothers, Darrel and Clyde, are busy starting new industry, Summo Robotics. Is this a sign of the economic growth in 2017? Area economists answer a resounding yes.
The economic projection for Castle Country for 2017 is very optimistic. As our nation inaugurates a new administration, the local area is excited for an expected reduction of regulations and permits regarding energy production and exploration.
Green River Economic consultant Mike McCandless, from Epic Engineering, reports that Blue Castle Holdings is now concentrating on funding and permitting for the nuclear power plant. A recent court order granted water rights that Blue Castle was pursuing and it is now continuing with plans for production. Gray Canyon Refinery and Emery Refinery are also actively pursuing their plans. These are directly tied to the recovery of oil and gas prices. McCandless also reports that they are 50% ready for installation of natural gas in Green River City. They have received a matching grant from the CIB and made application for federal monies to meet the other half. Debbie Hatt, Economic Development Administrator with the AOG, reports that EDA is doing a feasibility study for these funds.
Emery County Economic Development Director Jordan Leonard also expressed much optimism with regards to development in 2017. His statement included many hopeful comments.
“As we look to 2017, the future looks bright for our energy industries and our natural resource production,” he said. “We hope that the new presidential administration will relieve the pressure of the EPA regulations on our energy-based companies. In addition, we have been working closely with the state of Utah to change the regulations on the Fast Track Grant. We are hoping to make this grant more accessible to our businesses by getting the full-time wage requirement reduced. We have also been pursuing tech and manufacturing companies to look at our area and will be able to officially announce, in the near future, the details of a new manufacturing business coming to Emery County.”
Leonard then continued to explain that they have also been working with Castle Country BEAR (Business Expansion And Retention) on human capital recruitment. There are people that want to move to our area but need to be able to find an opportunity for employment. Therefore, they are making a combined effort to create an email database where interested parties can be notified when a career type job opens up to see if they are a fit to fill the vacant positions.
“The future of Emery County is bright, and we are excited to be a part of helping it move forward,” Leonard concluded.
Carbon County Economic Development Director Tammy Ursenbach also voiced much optimism with regards to growth in Carbon County during the new year.
”We are working hard in the county to support growth of local businesses and to recruit new companies to come to the county,” she said. “Currently, I am working with over 35 companies that could come to the county. Once we get a large company to make an announcement, I believe others will follow.”
Ursenbach went on to explain that the Governor’s Office of Energy Development and Carbon County started an Advanced Coal Resource Group to look at new uses for coal as well as the challenge that coal brings to each county. Carbon County is also hosting an international conference in September called, “The Next Generation With Fossil Fuel” with new products and services created using coal, gas, and/or oil. By so doing, the hope is to bring new life to the resources in our area.
Price City Manager Nick Tatton enthusiastically spoke of new potential projects for this area and the continuation of current business expansions in Price.
All reports indicate that 2017 will be a “bullish” year for Castle Country.