Tiny Towns Recap | Holiday Preparations + Water Resources

DCI's final Tiny Town Meeting of the year took place last week on December 5th and afforded the Tiny Town Team a moment to reflect on the topics that were the most meaningful as well as ones to explore in the new year. Communities also shared their holiday plans in Colorado’s Tiny Towns, all while these community leaders continue to wrestle with finalizing the budget. In addition, the meeting had guest speakers Dawn Thilmany and Rebecca Hill from Colorado State University to share resources for Tiny Towns. 

The Tiny Towns in attendance this week were San Luis, Ophir, Yampa, Brookside, Red Cliff, New Raymer, Moffat, and Kiowa County. Some Tiny Town holiday celebrations highlights included:
  • Eads- Merry on Main
  • Ophir- Sledding Party
  • San Luis- Maneto (Little Brothers) Christmas do Oremos along with a town tree and luminari all down main street
  • Yampa- Parade with Santa Clause
  • Walsenburg- Parade of Lights
  • Hot Sulphur Springs- Christmas and Winter Songs concert
  • Brookside- Holiday brunch
  • New Raymer- lights and Santa Claus visit

Beyond holiday plans, the Tiny Town team reviewed the discussions held throughout the past year and highlighted some favorite topics and potentials ones for next year. Topics ranged from understanding what stores work in small towns, to grant applications and management, and public private partnerships for redevelopment opportunities. The towns also shared resources regarding helpful grants, agencies, and support networks for each other.


The Tiny Town participants are a great resource for one another, and the following ideas were shared as big picture concepts that might benefit multiple communities.

- Two weeks of Christmas and New Years is the busiest time for the Tiny Towns and businesses,

- Budgets absorb most of the staff time for the end of the year. 

- Using benefits of fishing/tourism to study in-stream flow rights to add resources for community economic vitality. 

- Many Tiny Towns may not meter the water and getting metering set up is an important step to tapping funding.  


COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION: The CSU Regional Economic Development Institute, representatives Dawn Thilmany and Rebecca Hill, joined to share how their team helps tiny towns understand the resources that are available to help support infrastructure and redevelopment, as well as entrepreneurship and other economic vitality initiatives. 

Dawn Thilmany: [email protected] 

Rebecca Hill: [email protected]

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT: Municipalities under 10K, can tap into USDA Rural Development Programs for grants and very low interest loans. May include updates or enhancements to improve usage or conservancy for water. www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-environmental-programs

DOLA has planning grants that can help identify the first stage looking at what you need and the steps needed to get projects done. Contact your DOLA Regional Manager: https://cdola.colorado.gov/regional-managers

DOLA Water and Wastewater Program Manager: [email protected]

Colorado Water and Wastewater Funding Quick Reference-rev. 2-2021.pdf

CDPHE is also a great resource for federal dollars to support wastewater and other water plant issues.  Contact [email protected]

DCI is honored to support this group of small but mighty champions and we look forward to another great year in 2023. Thank you!

If you know a Tiny Town that would like to be connected to other Tiny Towns in the state, please refer them to Kylie Brown, Rural Program Manager, at [email protected].
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