Cache County hosted Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development on Thursday and Friday as they came to visit the county for a two-day familiarization tour in which the county showcased its developments in business and technology.
“Down in Salt Lake City, they know we have wonderful dairy products; we know we’re famous throughout the valley for Bluebird chocolates, Gossner’s cheese. We have many well branded food products throughout our valley,” said Sandy Emile, the CEO and president of the Cache Chamber of Commerce.
“What they aren’t as aware of are our small- and medium-sized high-tech companies that are global, flourishing and expanding, that were founded in the valley and are growing in the valley,” she continued. “It was an excellent opportunity to tell that story.”
Emile said the chamber of commerce packed numerous valley business tours into the two-day period, including Malouf, Zigg Design, Argo Fuels, Campbell Scientific, Ophir-Spiricon and more.
“It gave them a very good cross-section of businesses that are growing, and also a little taste on what a startup high-tech business looks like and what their struggles are,” Emile said.
Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Val Hale said his office has been visiting different areas of the state and meeting with local officials and businesses to see where or what the needs are and how they can help them. Cache County was one of their final destinations.
“We get a lot of feedback from the counties,” Hale said. “Some of them have issues or ideas they want to talk to us about.”
Hale said the goal is to develop relationships with city leaders that will provide crucial foundations for interactions and visits in the future.
“We make contacts with them so we can have future interactions,” Hale said. “If they need our services we can help them.”
Though this marked the first time in a while the lieutenant governor’s office and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development toured Cache County, Cox is far from unfamiliar with the county.
“I’m an Aggie,” Cox said. “It’s home.”
Cox, who has family in the valley, said Cache County has the tendency to continue to change and grow, and like any other place, has aspects it needs to continue to work on.
“I’m amazed at the growth, not just population growth, but the business and technology growth that we’re seeing in the area,” he said.
Cox said prevailing issues are air quality, state transportation and water for future growth.
“I think it’s something we’re still concerned about and what we’re anxiously engaged in helping the community with,” he said. “But really you guys are doing a lot of things right. We’re learning lessons here in Cache Valley that we’ll take to other parts of the state.”
Cox praised the various technological facets of the valley as sophisticated and continuously growing.
“I don’t think I realized the sophistication that was happening here,” Cox said. “And I would put the sophistication of technology companies in Cache Valley up against any one in the state.”
Of the many aspects of Cache County the visitors were introduced to, Logan Environmental Department Director Issa Hamud informed them about Logan city’s long-term Wastewater Treatment Master Plan, its projected growth and the city’s efforts to meet the public’s wastewater-related needs.
Operations Analyst John Christensen also gave a tour of the Environmental Department’s new facilities, which opened in fall 2013, followed by the transfer station, which was finalized in fall 2014.
Emile said the last time the county gave a tour to the lieutenant governor’s office was at least 10 years ago.
“The hope is to bring them back in some time sooner than a 10-year period and showcase even more of the businesses we have up here,” Emile said.