The planning sessions of Vision West have quieted down, but the focus and mission continue. Participating counties, including Bowman County, have received their Strategic Plans and the Regional Strategic Plan first-draft will be presented in November. These initiatives act as a guiding source to proactively prepare and embrace the population growth that Western North Dakota is projected to continue to see over the next decade.
The practicality and usability of the documents attest to the great participation from the Plan Director, Teran Doerr, BCDC Director, the 21 member steering committee, and the participation from citizens in the open forums. The Bowman County Planning committee strategized how to handle and prepare for the future. As stated in the executive summary of the Bowman County Plan, “We intend to be progressive about our future, defining the Bowman County we want and creating the Bowman County that our kids deserve…Given the track record of the community, there is a lot of reason to believe that Bowman County will be even more economically diversified and livable than ever, in the near future.”
This is not the first time Bowman County has strategically planned for its future. Due to the forward thinking of the past, it has continued to hold on to the quiet, clean, family atmosphere and other important quality of life factors that are becoming a rare commodity. Planning was not inclusive only to quality of life, but also in the infrastructure and ability for the communities of Bowman County to physically handle additional people. An example can be seen in the Infrastructure Assessment completed for the city of Scranton through Vision West. Scranton’s infrastructure is capable of handling a 48% increase in its city’s population.
Bowman County Economic Development Corporation has adopted the Selected Strategies and Quality of Life Initiatives as a portion of their own strategic plan to best assist in executing these points and to align with the needs of the county. The Leadership Short Course, exploration of a TIF District, and additional Tourism Funding are all implementations of the indicated points the BCDC is assisting to bring to achievement.
Full plans and additional information about Vision West can be found on their website: www.VisionWestND.com.