Sanford: ‘Listen to the people’
BY ALYSSA MEIER
North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford spoke at the annual WAEDA meeting this week, promoting the use of community surveys to help build on the strengths of the community.
Sanford was the keynote speaker at the Washburn Area Economic Development Association meeting Monday night, held at the Fort Mandan visitor center. Sanford shared some of his experiences and ideas, many related to Governor Doug Burgum’s Main Street Initiative, then asked for questions from the locals in the room.
Sanford had shared how he had seen Watford City grow from forty kids in gymnastics to over 400. Washburn Shell gas station owner Dick Bickert said that there were significant differences between the communities.
“Your Main Street Initiative and ours are two entirely different things,” Dick Bickert said at the meeting. “We don’t even have 400 kids in the school.”
Bickert said he felt that though the town’s location on U.S. Highway 83 was a benefit, it’s convenience also deterred some from moving to, or staying in, Washburn.
“It’s just as easy to go down to Bismarck and make more money,” Bickert said. “So being close to Bismarck and Minot aren’t necessarily a plus for us.”