A group of 57 area residents, many of them prominent in the Mount Shasta business community, signed onto a letter expressing concern that the town is developing an “anti-growth” reputation that the community can not afford.

We’ve come together to write this as area residents who have invested in Mount Shasta and Siskiyou County. We are your neighbors and your friends in this wonderful part of northern California where we want our children to grow, thrive and eventually raise their children.

However, the recent Mount Shasta Herald article titled, “EDA tells city it can’t use grant for interceptor line,” struck a nerve with us.

According to the article, a $3 million grant from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency was retracted; money that was to be utilized by the city to help offset the cost of the new sewer interceptor line.

The reason this is so important is that the goal of this project is to make significant improvements to the city’s water treatment infrastructure, which we all can agree is a fundamental requirement to continuing to promote tourism and economic growth in Mount Shasta for the 21st century.

But our concern is larger than this single project. What we fear more is the “anti-growth” reputation we are developing when outside businesses evaluate us for potential expansion.

According to the California State University Chico Service Region Profile 2014, the unemployment rate for Siskiyou County in 2013 was 13.1 percent, compared to 11.9 percent in the 12-County Region, and 10 percent in California as a whole.

Additionally, this same study shows that Mount Shasta fell below the state average for the number of start-up businesses.

Why are new businesses and jobs important? Because they create new property, income and sales taxes to fund our schools, our police and fire, and our city and county governments.

As has been shown for decades around the globe, prosperous areas that have incentives and resources also care the most for the environment. In other words, growth is tied directly to maintaining the quality of life we all cherish.

We write today to set the record straight. We cannot afford to have our community labeled as anti-business and anti-growth; we must welcome investments from private and public sectors alike.

We need to signal to the world that Mount Shasta is Open for Business.

Dorian Aiello, Mike Brown, Ron Cervelli, Paul Chapman, Mike Cheula, Richard “Rick” Chitwood, Doug Cole, Jerry Cook, Jim Cross, Denise Eilers, Terry Eilers, Richard Dunn, Kathi Emerson, Roger Emerson, Paul Engstrom, Phil Facchin, Angela Ferrari, John Fryer Jr., Tom Haistings, Dan Halford Sr., Tom Hesseldenz, Steve Hickey, Jerry Hurt, Alisa Johnson, Erick Johnson, John Kennedy Sr., John Kennedy Jr., Harold “Buzz” Knight, Kevin Lahey, Bob Manley, David McDowell, John McDowell, Reece Miller, Tessa Montgomery, Rich Patrick, Dennis Pigoni, Mark Pigoni, Russ Porterfield, Bill Ramshaw, Eldon Ramshaw, Vince Reinig, Brett Ritter, Everardo “Lalo” Rodriguez, Mike Rodriguez, Lucy Roelofs, Bev Shannon, Ronald Stevens, Terry Taforo, Lynn Teuscher, Jon Thomas, David Turk, Brett Waite, Cael Weston, Michael Williams, Gary Woods, Roxanne Woods.