A public input meeting will be held this month in Wahpeton to help generate ideas for "North Dakota 2020 & Beyond," a 20-year development plan initiative recently launched by Governor Jack Dalrymple and the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
The Wahpeton area input session will give local residents and leaders a chance to provide insight and ideas to a steering committee developing the plan. Wahpeton is one of eight other cities across the state where community input meetings are being held.
2020 and Beyond will build on goals and strategies outlined in the state's current 10-year strategic plan, according to the plan's website. It will advance North Dakota's emphasis on creating jobs and building a positive business climate while focusing on improving the state's quality of life, the website states.
"It's a good project, a good planning project," said Ron Rowland, executive vice president of the Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce. "But they want the local input, and we want to give them our fair share of input so that different concerns and things that we've got get addressed as well."
In a statement, Dalrymple said the state's aggressive economic development efforts the past decade have resulted in "unprecedented opportunities for our citizens," and now that the state has achieved its goals of creating jobs and a proven business climate, "it is time for us to build on our progress and expand our vision for economic development."
"Today is the time to capitalize on the opportunities that have emerged as a result of our state's impressive economic growth," he said.
A steering committee and an advisory committee with representatives from each of the state's eight regions are leading the project. The project is organized by Dalrymple, the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, the Freedom Enterprise Foundation and the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation.
The development plan will focus on three key areas: people, places and opportunities. The steering committee will provide a report to Dalrymple and the North Dakota Legislature this fall outlining its recommendations for "furthering North Dakota's growth and enrichment," states a release from Gov. Dalrymple's office. Several legislative initiatives are expected to result from the report, the release states.
Throughout March, input meetings will be held in Wahpeton, Fargo, Jamestown, Williston, Minot, Devils Lake and Grand Forks. Meetings in Dickinson and Bismarck took place in February.
Members of the advisory committee for District 5, which includes Wahpeton and Fargo, are Dean Bresciani of North Dakota State University, Don Morton of Microsoft, Thomas Shorma of WCCO Belting, Inc., and Pat Traynor of Dakota Medical Foundation.
The Wahpeton area input session will take place at 4 p.m. March 13 at the Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce, 118 N. Sixth St., Wahpeton. Registration is required. To register, call the chamber office at 701-642-8744 no later than Friday, March 9.
For those who can't attend the meeting, ideas can be submitted on the North Dakota 2020 & Beyond website. To submit ideas, or for more information on the development initiative, go to the website at www.ND2020andbeyond.com