Washburn selected as pilot city
BY ALYSSA MEIER
A list of needs, wants and goals developed over the last year may start to take shape soon, as Washburn delves into a new pilot program aimed at increasing residents’ quality of life.
Washburn was recently selected as one of two pilot cities for the new United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Livable Community Program, Emily Brown said. Brown, who serves as the USDA’s Community Development and Planning Specialist, said the program is aimed at helping cities set, and then achieve, goals for increasing livability.
“This Livable Community program will guide communities through the process of developing a simple strategy to improve quality of life for years to come,” Brown said. “By focusing on improving quality of life and livability, communities will improve their ability to retain talent, attract investment, and improve economic and life outcomes for everyone.”
Brown said she and Bill Davis, who served as the State Director until transferring to Program Support Director this week, have worked on developing the program over the last nine months. Recently, two communities in North Dakota were selected as pilot cities -- Washburn and Wimbledon. Brown sat down with members of the Washburn Area Economic Development Association, community organizations and other USDA representatives last week to discuss what the program means for Washburn.
“We all know what livability is, as far as quality of life, but it means something different for each of us,” Brown said. “It’s really the special combination of elements that makes a town a good place to live or a place that you want to work, want to live, want to raise a family. And that’s what this program is designed to focus on.”