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ARCHIVED  April 1, 1997

Boulder has only itself to blame for loss of companies

Weld County can be trusted

That’s the overriding message from the steady stream of businesses making their way into the county’s business-friendly environs, from Magnelab, which is moving from Boulder to Del Camino, to Boulder-based Applied Films Corp., which is expected to make a similar move to southwestern Weld County.

On the one hand, these companies face a Boulder city government that uses commercial growth limits to restrict their growth to a fraction of their potential, while on the other they look longingly at a county government and economic-development program that embraces them and bends over backwards to help them.

Boulder companies face a high cost of living, a slow permit process and, yes, the aforementioned growth restrictions. Not so in Weld.

This newspaper continually receives reports of deals in Weld County and its constituent communities that are consummated on a handshake, of developments approved within days and buildings constructed within weeks. From State Farm Insurance Co. in Greeley to Rader Railcar in Fort Lupton, that fast-track approach has saved time and money for two fine companies. Greeley, Fort Lupton and Weld County have come through.

These successes belie the oft-repeated theory that Weld County’s success has relied almost entirely on cheap land and enterprise zones that extend virtually countywide. While land costs always are a factor for a company looking to expand, enterprise zones do little for a firm relocating from elsewhere within the state.

Weld County is far more than cheap land and tax breaks. And if officials in Boulder are hoping that cutbacks in the state’s enterprise-zone program will reduce the exodus of companies to Weld County, they’d better take a closer look at what’s luring these firms to our region — and what’s driving them away from Boulder.

Weld County can be trusted

That’s the overriding message from the steady stream of businesses making their way into the county’s business-friendly environs, from Magnelab, which is moving from Boulder to Del Camino, to Boulder-based Applied Films Corp., which is expected to make a similar move to southwestern Weld County.

On the one hand, these companies face a Boulder city government that uses commercial growth limits to restrict their growth to a fraction of their potential, while on the other they look longingly at a county government and economic-development program that embraces them and bends over backwards to help them.

Boulder companies face…

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