Gaining direct air service to Medford is only one of several economic development initiatives underway in Del Norte County, the Rotary Club of Brookings-Harbor was told Tuesday.
Craig Bradford of the Del Norte Economic Development Corp. said other efforts are moving ahead on gaining a four-year college program, expanding seafood processing, lowering power rates and relocating high-tech businesses from the Silicon Valley to the Border Coast.
Weve got a lot of things happening and theyre happening all at once, Bradford said. None of these were in existence a year ago. The pace is extraordinary.
Bradford focused on the air service effort, and noted that the cooperation between counties, states and chambers of commerce may spin off into other arenas.
Barriers are breaking down, he said. The Border Coast is beginning to be seen as a region.
The push for a direct air link between Crescent City and Medford was formally announced last week by Del Norte, Curry and Jackson counties, along with the Del Norte, Brookings-Harbor and Medford chambers of commerce.
Bradford said the hope is to advertise for proposals by the first of the year, and offer $55 round-trip tickets through a subsidy that would be phased out once the market demand is proven.
The three counties are holding hands to pursue air service from Crescent City to Medford and then north, he said. We need to be able to move our businesses in that direction.
His other predictions on air service included moves at San Francisco to forbid propeller driven aircraft such as those that can serve Crescent City, and development of a jet runway in the region, which will not fit at the present airport site.
In another effort that Bradford predicted will spill over the border, he reported that the California Trade and Commerce Department has been ordered to help relocate high-tech businesses from the overcrowded Silicon Valley. Del Norte County, he said, will be a first priority in the state effort, and some of that relocation will naturally end up in the Brookings-Harbor area.
Bradford said a huge investment in a new seafood processing plant in Crescent City will come with efforts to export seafood - such as albacore tuna to Spain, live crab to Shanghai and black cod to Japan that will have a benefit for commercial fishermen out of the Port of Brookings Harbor.