Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess discusses the 2017 Annual Report with Chamber of Commerce members Thursday morning at UNM-LA. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Chamber members gather for the County’s annual report Thursday at UNM-LA. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post
Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess described the County’s 2017 efforts and accomplishments in the areas of promoting economic vitality as part of his annual report Thursday morning when he addressed local Chamber of Commerce members during their monthly breakfast meeting.
Burgess said the annual report is based on the County Council’s priorities. He said once a year the Council gets together and sets priorities for staff. These priorities don’t supercede the provision of services on a daily basis which accounts for 80 percent of staff efforts.
Burgess said one of the County’s goals is to build the local tourism economy and that with the arrival of the Manhattan Project National Park, the County focused on Los Alamos as a gateway for three national parks. He said the County went through the process of establishing a wayfinding plan – a way to get people to Park services and keep people downtown to enjoy local businesses. He said the County is looking for money for the placement of signage.
The County has been working with other local entities that have a tourism draw, Burgess said, trying to bring all the different elements together in a campaign to attract people to the community. He said the County has been investing in infrastructure for items that are attractants for people come to town such as the historical museum and Fuller Lodge. He said the County is happy the Park Service is here and has provided building space for the Manhattan Project.
Burgess also addressed people coming into town and seeing “certain of our facilities that are run down” saying the County is putting effort into making a community that is attractive and safe. He said the County hired new personnel and put a lot of effort into code enforcement during the past year including addressing many of the buildings at the entrance to town.
The County has been investing a lot in the visual aspects of town, Burgess said, mentioning the revitalization of Ashley Pond Park and the placement of art in public places as examples. He mentioned a new business guide and efforts being made to get visitors to stay in town by expanding opportunities and the visibility of those opportunities.
Burgess discussed ongoing branding efforts by the County saying the focus now is on actually engaging the people in town, to educate them about the brand, what the County is trying to do with it and why they should be supportive of it.
Burgess also addressed affordable housing as a County priority. He said the population of the County has sat at 18,000 for the past 25 years and the Council has a goal of increasing that number to 20,000 by 2020. Saying, “You’ve got to have rooftops to do that”, Burgess listed several projected housing projects including apartments and single family residences the County expects to materialize in the near future.
Los Alamos County Councilor Rick Reiss and Public Relations Officer Julie Habiger await discussion of the Los Alamos County Annual Report. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Newly-appointed Chamber of Commerce Director Ryn Hermann welcomes attendees to Thursday’s Chamber Breakfast meeting at UNM-LA. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Linda Matteson, assistant to the County Manager and Councilor Rick Reiss chat following Harry Burgess’s presentation of the County’s Annual Report. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess, right, and District Judge Greg Shaffer at Thursday morning’s Chamber Breakfast. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz, left, and Dave Fox, owner of Pajarito Nursery chat at Thursday’s Chamber Breakfast. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com