Meet your neighbor: Fruita’s Dahna Raugh loves the West
Special to the Free Press
Editor’s note: We want to meet your neighbor. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denise: What do you do in Fruita?
Dahna: I am the community development director for the City of Fruita. My job is to oversee the physical growth and coordinate development in Fruita. It is a job with incredible variety. On any given day, I work on a variety of issues including fencing, any number of permits, outdoor lighting, and legal issues.
Denise: How did you get interested in community planning?
Dahna: After obtaining my bachelor of design in architecture from the University of Florida, I realized that I was more interested in the big picture of how each building fits into a community rather than just designing individual buildings, so I went on to earn an MA in urban and regional planning.
Denise: How did you end up in Fruita?
Dahna: My first job after graduation in Florida was in Las Cruces, N.M. I loved the West, but I didn’t necessarily want to stay in southern New Mexico, so I applied for a job as senior planner for Mesa County in 2000. In 2006, I started working as the community development director in Fruita. We lived in Grand Junction, but after I started the job here we decided to move to Fruita. Although it’s a short commute from Grand Junction to Fruita, I didn’t want to have to get into a car to get to where we needed to go every day. Without the need to get in a car, we can more easily be a part of the community (not to mention it is cheaper, safer, reduces our carbon footprint, etc.). When we started looking for a house here, I looked at old houses on large lots. During my lunch hours I would wander around Fruita, admiring the older houses with lots of character. I made a list of the houses I would be interested in living in. When one of the houses on my list came up for sale, we made an offer and then moved to Fruita in 2008.
Denise: What do you like about Fruita?
Dahna: I like the people, the small-town flavor, the schools, and my job here. My husband, Eli, and I think Fruita is a great place to live and to bring up our daughter, Zada.
Denise: What other interests do you have?
Dahna: I enjoy rock hounding, hiking, biking, gardening, local history, and old buildings. Our house, built in 1936, is being renovated, and I would eventually like to purchase another old house in Fruita as an investment property and oversee the renovation.
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