I recently travelled to Jamestown, a town that dates back to the 1800s as a gold rush mecca. It has seen good times, and it has endured tough times … 19 months ago might have been its toughest.
In September 2013, 17 inches of rain fell in parts of northern Colorado over mere days, causing flooding beyond epic proportions. Boulder County was hit especially hard, and the communities suffered mightily. I remember going to Jamestown (and Lyons, and other impacted municipalities) just after the flooding and was shaken by the devastation. The town suffered nearly $12 million in infrastructure loss due to the flood.
Local, state, and federal agencies rallied into action. Now, more than a year and half after this natural disaster that few of us will ever forget, I can tell you the progress is amazing.
For example, Jamestown has a new fire station for its wonderful volunteer fire department. During the recovery period, 1,700 volunteers donated 48,500 hours of time (estimated to be worth nearly $1.5 million). Road reconstruction, water treatment plant repairs, and homes have been rebuilt. Most importantly, the historic “Merc” gathering place is open and thriving.
Jamestown Mayor Tara Schoedinger is a rock star among mayors. She has thrown her all into the recovery effort, is revered among the town’s 300 residents, and will be recognized by the Boulder Daily Camera with its prestigious “Pacesetter” award, which honors people making a difference in Boulder County and our state.
What I recently witnessed in Jamestown is all about resilience. At its core, Jamestown represents a place where community spirit cannot be broken – something that I love about all the incredible cities and towns of Colorado. Take a trip up Left Hand Canyon off of 36 sometime and visit Jamestown … they throw one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in the state (just sayin’!).