Residents and business owners in the Idaho panhandle town of Mullan, long known as the home of the Lucky Friday silver mine, are worried about a shrinking population and ailing economy.
"You've got to grow or die," Terry Haumer, owner of Mullan's Motherlode Bistro told the Coeur d'Alene Press.
The Lucky Friday mine was shut down in January, following a series of accidents, including two deaths in 2011. More than 110 miners were pink-slipped in the closure. The Hecla Mining Company announced in November that its expects to resume mining at its Lucky Friday Mine in early 2013.
But Mullan citizens don't want to rest their livelihoods entirely on the mining operations.
"We need housing, we need medical," Beckly Altman told the Press. "I've seen things go downhill, real quick."
Another resident told the Press that he predicted that Mullan "will become a ghost town with an operating mine if there is no change."