Silt Mayor Keith Richel and officials from across the country headed to Washington, D.C., last week to discuss a federal program in which the town became one of a handful of Colorado towns to participate last year.
Richel said federal officials reached out to four Colorado towns to join the Opportunity Zones Conference on April 17. Opportunity Zones is a federal distinction established by Congress in 2017 to address uneven economic recovery that has left some communities across the country behind, according to the Colorado Office on Economic Development and International Trade.
President Donald Trump spoke about the Opportunity Zones program at the D.C. conference, as did several other high-ranking government officials, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
Richel said the conference served as a way for those in attendance to become more educated on Opportunity Zones and what they offer for a community. The entire town, as well as a large area to the south of town, were included as an Opportunity Zone in early 2018.While Silt became an opportunity zone in 2018, the town is still feeling out how best to take advantage of it, said Layman. Opportunity zones are designed to spur economic development by providing tax benefits to investors, according to the IRS website.