last updated September 18, 2012
- Vision West ND is a local and regional planning effort that covers 19 western ND counties and Fort Berthold Reservation affected by oil and gas production.
- Vision West ND is made possible through US Department of Housing and Urban Development ($1.5 M) and the North Dakota Departments of Trust Lands and Commerce ($310k).
- Vision West ND began it work with a “boots on the ground” focus in February 2012 with the kickoff of 20-22 Planning Sessions.
- Plan Weeks for each county will be formed using a local steering committee consisting of local leaders from the public and private sectors.
- Public meetings to engage local citizens in the process are key to the Planning Session success.
- The local Planning Sessions will be completed by the end of 2012.
- The Planning Sessions are the planning mechanism to build local strategic plans.
- Local residents can continue to engage in the discussion through an online forum called Mind Mixer. This forum can be found at ideas.VisionWestND.com.
- The Vision West ND effort includes planning and zoning recommendations and best practices training, municipal infrastructure summaries with conceptual cost estimates, and complete economic development strategic plans.
- The local steering committees, supported by project consultants, will complete the individual local strategic plans by the end of 2012.
- Subsequently, an architect will be solicited to provide individual project schematics for proposed developments in selected communities.
- Local strategic plans will roll into a large regional plan to best address multi-jurisdictional issues.
- The large regional plan will advance the strategies for the region.
- Vision West ND Consortium Board has been appointed with representation from the counties, universities, Regional Councils in the project area the Three Affiliated Tribes, the ND Association of Oil & Gas Producing Counties, and the Southwest REAP Zone.
- Vision West ND is working collaboratively with numerous planning initiatives in Western ND.
- Additional Project Partners include the REAP Investment Fund, the Strom Center at Dickinson State University, and USDA-Rural Development.
- Project Consultants include lead planning consultant Building Communities, Inc. and supporting consultants AE2S, AE2S Nexus, DLN Consulting, Inc., and SJB Consulting.
- Vision West ND website: www.visionwestnd.com. Also sign up for the e-newsletter through website
LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLANS
- 20 Plan Weeks will be completed with Four Bears Planning Session by the end of September.
- 11 Draft Plans are now in the hands of Local Steering Committees under review
- Top five development strategies selected include:
- Infrastructure Development
- Business Retention and Expansion
- Attracting Government Funding
- Entrepreneurship Development
- Downtown Development
- Top six Quality of Life Initiatives selected include:
- Daycare and Child Programs
- Public Safety and Emergency Services
- Parks and Recreation
- Infrastructure Improvements
- Healthcare Services
- 5 Local Steering Committees have completed their “Action Plan Workbook” which defines specific action steps to implement each of the selected development strategies
MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS ASSESSMENTS
- 11 of the 26 Municipal Infrastructure Needs Assessments have been completed and are in the process of being delivered to the communities. All assessments will be completed by November 15, 2012.
- Common Infrastructure Needs Assessment themes:
- Inadequate water supply to meet current and projected demand and fire flow needs.
- Original cast iron water mains subject to corrosion, line breaks, and water leakage.
- Inadequate lagoon capacity and aged valves.
- Lagoon seepage is prevalent.
- Original clay tile sewer mains susceptible to collapse and intrusion.
- Lack of capacity in main sewer lines.
- Accelerated deterioration due to industrial traffic.
- Major corridors in need of expansion.
- Need for by-pass routes for industrial traffic.
PLANNING AND ZONING RECOMMENDATIONS
- A training workshop on the Planning and Zoning basics will be provided in November.
- Recently solicited requests for specific training needs from local planning and zoning staff and commissioners
INDIVIDUAL PROJECT SCHEMATICS
- Participants in the local strategic planning process will be able to apply for funding support to develop architectural renderings for a specific local project.
- Application process will be defined at the October 2012 Consortium Board meeting.
COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC BOOM CYCLE ANALYSES THROUGH THE WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA ENERGY PROJECT
- The Western ND Energy Project is presently focused on five key activities.
- Policy white paper regarding financial policy
- Series of briefing meetings to understand how other fast-growth regions have dealt with the impacts of growth, and to determine recommended best practices.
- Webinars related to growth regions. These webinars are currently posted on the Vision West ND website.
- Development of a series of new webinars (to be open to the public) focused on the following topics
- Headwaters Economics' latest report on Unconventional Oil and best fiscal practices
- EMS services in Boomtown settings
- Land owner rights for those with only surface rights
- Land owner leases
- Norway experience with North Sea Oil development
- Coordinating with Lynn Helms to share the new economic model that predicts the anticipated population growth by county for the next 30+ years.
- Vision West ND will fold the local plans into a Regional Plan in 2013.