Without housing action, goodbyes will continue

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Dear Editor,

Thank you for the June 20 article "Family Pulls Plug on Dreams of Living in Ouray." Not only was your profile of the Williams family timely and eye-opening, but in many ways it told the story of so many of us in Ouray County. Those who teach in the schools, serve in law enforcement, and work in other professions that make Ouray and Ridgway tick, do so knowing that we make a choice and a sacrifice by living in this community.

Teachers, for example, make 60-70 percent of the salaries of their peers on the Front Range. We make ends meet by doing a variety of things including taking on second and third jobs, commuting from other towns to our work and penny-pinching in our everyday lives. But even then it's becoming more and more difficult to make it in Ouray.

The Williams' story reflected this reality in so many ways — including the unfortunate appearance that the cities of Ouray and Ridgway don't seem to have a plan for how to keep housing costs affordable, and thus retain its workforce. In the meantime, a lot of families are reaching their breaking point. We will miss Bryan, Shannon and

Jenna. Unless something changes with housing in this county, these are just the beginnings of our goodbyes.

Taylor Chase

Ridgway