An ambitious eight-point program for economic development has been proposed by Gunnison City officials and a group of interested residents.

"We want to assist in providing any necessary training, education, appropriate infrastructure, financing and support to accomplish this task," the group noted in its mission statement. "We also want to share this information with the community, and do things that make us feel good about ourselves."Specific projects were outlined to achieve each of eight goals - image and attitude, business retention, business recruitment, beautification, special events, hospital, recreation and the arts council.

The group believes image and attitude can be improved and a friendly feeling created in the community by helping sponsor programs and projects that emphasize community service and pride.

They say this can be accomplished through a community newsletter, calendar and bulletin board that would publicize upcoming events; utilizing the newspaper; promotional materials, such as hats, T-shirts, pins and brochure; service projects that would involve youth and volunteer adult groups; a poster and literary contest, asking residents to show why they like Gunnison; historical programs about Gunnison Valley; speakers at civic club meetings and school events; and coordinating advertising of the community with businesses.

Under the business-retention goal, assistance would be given to unify, train and educate business people and residents about ways to solidify existing businesses, develop downtown improvements, conduct seminars and sales events, and work toward obtaining grant money.

The beautification calls for planting trees, citywide cleanups, a "Petunia Day" and using city ordinances to enforce cleaning unsightly properties.

Special events under study include a hovercraft race, antique car shows, a Mexican festival, an all-terrain vehicle track, riding club events, Independence Day activities and supporting events sponsored by civic clubs.

Residents and city officials see the Gunnison Valley Hospital as not only providing health care but also as an important part of the economic development program.