New Local Cabinet Provider-Custom Kraft Cabinetry

Colorado City and Hildale are known throughout the region as the home of a large workforce of talented builders and craftsmen. Throughout the history of the community, hard work and dedication have been a deeply held value. There are, however, few local opportunities to practice and pass on those skills to the upcoming generations. Local craftsmen, Clinton Barlow and Brigham Holm, are hoping to help change that. Three months ago, they started a cabinet business in Hildale, with the hopes of passing on their knowledge of the trade to their families, provide local employment opportunities, and contribute to a thriving local economy.

Custom Kraft Cabinetry is the name of their business. They have partnered with a larger cabinet manufacturer out of the Salt Lake City area, drastically lowering their overhead costs while still being able to deliver high-quality cabinets that can be custom designed for any project. They send in a design, and the cabinets come to them prefabricated and pre-drilled for assembly, along with all the hardware. From there they assemble, finish, and install the cabinets. According to Clinton, “It’s really self-explanatory how they all go together. It’s easy for someone to catch on to. That’s why I’m thinking this would be a really good after-school job for some of these kids coming up.”

They have quite a bit of flexibility in what they can offer and can custom order nearly anything, whether that be a couple new cabinet doors, an entire set of doors, or an entire kitchen cabinet set. “They’re actually nicer and cheaper than if we were building them ourselves at this point,” says Clinton. One neat option that they will have in the future, through their cabinet provider, is a virtual reality system that can be used to walk through a kitchen design. “You put the virtual reality headset on, and you can walk through your kitchen and get a feel for what your kitchen will look like and troubleshoot any problems,” says Clinton. They plan on moving into fabrication in the future as they build their business.

22366425_814530865374724_1578820659332755075_n.jpg“We are working with several contractors in St. George, with 50 homes projected next year,” says Clinton. Both Brigham and Clinton have extensive experience in the industry. Brigham has worked in everything from installation and building to management and design, in various industries. Clinton has over 20 years of experience in finishing cabinets. “It’s a really rewarding job. When you get done, it’s what the customer actually sees.” They are expecting to take on more work as construction in the St. George area grows.

Their goals go beyond just building a profitable business. According to Clinton, “We want to be the kind of shop, where we work shoulder to shoulder with our guys. We experience things together, we’re learning together. It’s that kind of spirit that we want to bring back to this community.” Most workers in the area are familiar with the commute to outlying communities for work. That can be both a hindrance to local service businesses, with money being spent in other places, additional expenses such as gas and car maintenance, and a strain to the family, tacking a two-hour drive onto the work day. “Most of my career, I’ve driven to St. George. Because of the requirements of the shop, I couldn’t bring my kids. That was a big motivation for starting my own business,” says Clinton. “We want to be a part of bringing fathers and their sons back together. This is a family based business, and we want fathers to be able to bring their sons here and build something. My son, Trevin, won a championship trophy for the boy’s football league. The first thing we did is come over and make a little shelf and sprayed it for him to put his trophy in. Something that seems so small is something I wasn’t able to do before, working out of town,” he says.

Another of their goals is to be open to young people and help pass on the traditions of quality work and craftsmanship that have been a fundamental part of our community’s identity. For young people, it can be difficult to navigate the job market without connections, skills, and guidance. They hope to be a place that offers those skills to the youth who are coming up. “I want to shift people’s focus to the young people because they are our future. We’ve already lived half our lives, but those guys are just beginning. If we want them to have the passion that we have for what we do, we have to show them how to do that,” says Clinton.

Custom Kraft Cabinets can be contacted on their Facebook page or by phone.

Clinton Barlow: 435-691-3353

Brigham Holm: 801-404-2505




Housing Opportunity Comes to Colorado City; Pioneer Court

The trailer court in Colorado City is unique in many respects. The homes occupying those lots are vastly different; there is nothing standard about the place, which brings unique challenges and opportunities. The United Effort Plan Trust, a charitable trust in control of many parcels of land, has the goal of transferring that land to private ownership. The trailer park has been particularly hard to transfer to private ownership, for various reasons. The UEP has partnered with a local investor and Pioneer Court, through a master lease, to accomplish that goal. Along with the goal of fostering home ownership, come the goals of beautifying the community and turning the unique aspects and challenges of the properties into a positive opportunity for new and low-income families.

The trailer park in Colorado City has never really been available to the general public, until recently, due to it being UEP trust property. After some changes in the management of the trust, the homes became available to the public. However, many people are hesitant to spend their time fixing up properties that they may not occupy long term. Due to legal limitations arising from nature of the parcel of land, there was no clear path to individual home ownership. Pioneer Court is hoping to change that dynamic by working with individuals on flexible paths to home ownership.

21433224_1973123116302598_3576713066353714429_n.pngThey began by securing several properties and offering them for rent to see what kind of market demand might be expected. “A month ago, we went through and secured five or six vacant properties that had been abandoned. We put the time into repairing some of them to make them livable and see what the market would bring for rentals,” said Leona Knudson with Pioneer Court. She continues, “We found that there was far more interest in buying than renting. The ratio was ten to one.” The plan is to work with individuals to bring the homes up to a standard of livability and beautification that involves discounted pricing on the homes depending on the level of sweat equity contributed. With the local talent in construction trades, this is a great opportunity. “People would rather put the time and sweat equity into it and that works for us too, so we’re going to focus on securing the homes, making sure they are reasonably livable, then we will offer them for sale for people to fix up at an extremely discounted price,” says Leona. Each lot has a unique set of challenges and opportunities.

“These are unique homes. Nothing about them is standard. We have single-wide and double-wide trailers, and numerous properties with additions to trailers.” Depending on the ability of the individual seeking to own the home, Pioneer Court will work out a custom financing option. After the terms of the deal are met, that individual comes away with ownership of the home and the only expenses from that point are rental on the parcel of land along with utilities. The rate for land rental will be around $225. They are willing to offer flexible rental plans including annual, six-month, and month-to-month rental contracts. Utilities would not be offered through Pioneer Court.

Comparatively speaking, the lots are very big, when you consider trailer parks in other areas. In some trailer park’s you only get 8-feet worth of yard around your trailer. This trailer park allows you to have a full-size yard with room to grow. The opportunities for customization are many, due to the diverse nature of existing homes, just so long as beauty and safety standards are met. There are 95 homes in total and all of them are for sale.

Looking to the future, Pioneer Court has a goal of creating a strong sense of community. They are discussing plans to build common areas that include mini recreation and playground areas, along with maintenance of the roads with gravel. They have discussed possible community celebrations and events. They have even discussed bringing in wood from Kaibab to offer to residents, at cost, to help them cut down on utility bills during the winter. If you are interested in a path to homeownership but don’t have the ability to build or buy, this may be the perfect option.


Asset Insurance Offers Third Party MVD Services

In 2016 the MVD office in Colorado City was relocated to Littlefield Arizona, which is 75 miles away and a one-hour drive one way. The explanations for the move were vague. When considering the larger population in Colorado City and the long-standing presence of the MVD office there, the vague explanations become suspect. Any trip to the MVD office comes with the likelihood of a lost day of work under normal circumstances. Tack on a two-hour drive and the extra expense for gas, and the MVD quickly becomes a contender with the dentist’s office in terms of displeasure.  In search of an explanation for the sudden closure, and efforts to bring the MVD office back, Lorin Zitting of Asset Insurance got the idea to bring third-party MVD service to Colorado City along with his insurance services. With this new venture, there are some added benefits for the citizens of Colorado City, including faster and more efficient service, the ability to opt out of waiting in line, a one-stop shop for MVD service and insurance, and a couple of potential new local job opportunities that were historically filled by commuters from out of town.

After the closure of the MVD, Lorin began a year-long quest to bring the service back to town. Third party services are held to high standards in every aspect. There are stringent requirements for facilities including security, accessibility, accountability, and transparency. “I had to go to Phoenix for six weeks to do the training to provide title and registration,” said Lorin. He had originally planned to open the service in the former MVD facility in Colorado City but the city informed him of their intention to lease the building to others. He then began the search for other potential facilities, finally settling on the building on 10 North Central that served as the first grocery store in town as well as the longtime insurance office. “To do a third party, there are a lot of requirements. Half of the MVD requirements are passing your building off,” says Lorin. He continues, “We have to have a security system and video monitoring, with a 30-day feed, so that if anything goes wrong the MVD can investigate.” They require tight security for the storage of information, titles, plates, and a separate secure network to transfer digital information to the state. They are also required to meet all the accessibility requirements for customers with disabilities. These requirements led to the complete remodel of the building specifically for this service.

Asset Insurance and Motor Vehicle Services can perform every MVD service but one: drivers’ licensing. Arizona state law places certain statutory requirements on third-party service providers to prevent unfair competition, says Lorin. “The statute requires that you have to have been open for three years and have at least one thousand transactions a month to qualify for driver’s license testing,” according to Lorin. “Based on the numbers we had in town, that’s just never going to happen here.” There is an effort to lobby our state legislators to change the law to allow for exceptions in rural areas, like ours, that don’t fit within the purpose of the law. “The statute makes sense for some urban areas, but up here where we have to drive for two hours to reach the MVD, there should be an exception to that rule.” To bring about that change, people from Colorado City, Centennial Park, Canebeds, and Moccasin will need to express their support for that change to their state legislators and county officials. “Anything for your vehicle, we can do. We can even do bonded titles in-house. Unfortunately, there are a lot of young people who need that service. That’s a big pain to have to drive to Littlefield.”

Perhaps the most exciting part of the service they provide is the ability to have your MVD service done without having to wait around. According to Lorin, “When people come in to get work done, they don’t have to sit in the waiting room if they don’t want to. They can sign a power of attorney for that transaction, and as soon as I get done, I’ll call them and take payment over the phone and they can come pick it up when they’re ready.” There is really no need to wait unless it is a special case that requires special attention. “The days that I’m not open, people can schedule a direct appointment with me for an additional $20,” he says. Convenience fees, depending on the service, range from $10 to $40.  “The reason I got into this is I thought it paired really well with insurance. When somebody buys a new vehicle, we can offer the insurance, licensing, and tilting at the same time,” said Lorin. If you’re a client with Asset Insurance, you automatically get a 20% discount on MVD services.

The MVD services are available Wednesday-Friday from 9-5, with the ability to schedule private appointments on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday for an additional fee. The Insurance services are open Monday-Friday 9-5. If you are planning to use Asset Insurance and Motor Vehicle Service for your next vehicle purchase, it is important to inform your car dealer to send the paperwork to them directly. They send it by default to the MVD for Arizona or Utah. If they send it by FedEx or UPS, the physical address is 10 North Central Colorado City AZ, 86021. If sending by USPS, the address is P.O. Box 2250 Colorado City AZ, 86021.

Chamber of Commerce Stimulates Local Economy

Interview with Harvey Dockstader Jr.

A considerable amount of change has taken place over the past several years in the Short Creek Valley. Among these changes is the formation of the Uzona Chamber of Commerce which officially launched in June of 2016 with a primary focus to stimulate economic growth. The social and political structure of the area has historically limited the economy, forcing many to seek the jobs, goods, and services they require outside of the community. With the continuing changes, the Uzona Chamber of Commerce hopes to stimulate a thriving local economy for the benefit of everyone in the Valley. Continue reading “Chamber of Commerce Stimulates Local Economy”