November 21, 2013

Vision West document to be released in December

By Jerry W. Kram
The Vision West North Dakota Committee is in the process of finalizing its regional for the North Dakota Legislature. The committee has been holding meetings this spring and summer in the 19 energy producing counties in western North Dakota. The goal of the committee is get a grasp of the scope of the impacts of the recent rapid energy development in North Dakota and create a set of recommendations for the 2015 Legislative Session.
Brian Cole, a planner with Building Communities, Inc., gave an update on the status of the regional plan on a conference call meeting last week. He said that the meetings that were held in communities across western North Dakota, including New Town and Parshall, identified the many issues and problems communities are facing. He has been consulting and interviewing experts who may contribute solutions to those problems. To date he has interviewed more than 35 experts.
“There were a couple of issues that the consortium has identified that weren’t on the radar screen, specifically downtown development, culture and tourism and recreation,” Cole said. “So all of the interview with the exception of transportation have been conducted. I am waiting on some information from the North Dakota Department of Transportation.”
Cole said once that final topic is covered, he will have all the information necessary to assemble the regional plan.
“I would say the plan is 80 to 85 percent complete,” Cole said. “I would say I should have a plan ready for internal review by mid-December.”
Shirley Brentrup, Vision West ND Project Director, explained the process going forward.

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