Members of the Horizon Steering Committee and some of the Action Plan Committee Chairs met in November to discuss how to allocate the $8500.00 remaining that was received through the Horizons Program. The group reviewed the community suggestions received (see earlier post for list) and determined that several of them met the goals and vision established at the beginning of the Horizons process. The group allocated $2,000 to Emergency Services to cover a portion of the cost for the new pump for the fire truck; $1,500 toward the City Hall renovation/remodeling (primarily for the furnace); $1,000 for the Recreation Program; and $1,500 to the Advertising Committee to fund a “welcome sign” at the two-mile corner. The group kept $2,500 in reserve to be utilized for future needs that are identified and that meet the vision and goals.
There will be a meeting of the Screening Committee/Action Plan Chairpersons on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Nordland Parish Hall. The Steering Committee will be discussing the suggestions for the use of the $8,500 we received for successful completion of the Horizon Project.
Rutland residents have provided input through the suggestion boxes at the General Store and Cafe. Suggestions included:
- A new projector for town usage
- Housing (4) (sump pump, water leaks)
- Roof repair for Legion Hall/Fitness Center
- New pump for fire truck that broke down during Hal Nelson’s fire (4)
- Welcome package to welcome new residents
- Welcome sign at 2-mile corner
- Sign at 2-mile corner listing local business, churches, etc. (3)
- Dishwasher for General Store – Clean dishes benefit everyone!
- Cell phone tower in town
- Playground & swingset/slide for the kids (2)
- Re-do tennis court (3)
- New software for city for comp billing
- Recreation & advertising
- Pay 25% of furnace for town hall
- Money into Fitness Center
- Invest in savings bonds to earn money for city needs down the road
- Buy freezer for Community Club
- Money toward Town Hall projects
- More advertising of Rutland, like in ND magazine.
- Big sign at 2-mile corner
The Rutland Community received $8,500 for successfully completing the Horizons Project. This money is available to help us work on the goals chosen at the Community Forum regarding advertising, recreation, housing and a hiking/biking trail. The goals – and vision – were formulated and are shown in the post on Rutland’s Vision.
We are soliciting community input on how to use the funds. Suggestion boxes are in the Rutland Cafe and the Rutland General Store. Comments can also be left here and they will be posted for more of a forum for input and community discussion. Suggestions are being accepted until October 30. The Horizon Steering Committee plans to meet and make a final decision based on these suggestions. The meeting date has not yet been determined.
It’s not too late to get your voice heard. Maybe there are other ideas that are not on the vision or goals list. Get your comments, ideas and suggestions in. Many other things fall under the categories of recreation – like a library which we don’t have in Rutland — or a regular ‘gym night’ in the Hall or whatever! The Steering Committee will review and consider all suggestions. Start now!
Diane Smith and Deb Liermark have gratiously accepted the challenge as Rutland’s “volunteer coordinators.” These two women will now have the responsibility to coordinate service needs and match those needs with volunteer interests, abilities and availability. The appointment of these two residents accomplishes the first action step in Rutland’s Vision Plan. Residents willing to volunteer services — providing rides, getting groceries, mowing lawns, etc. — can contact either of them. If you need volunteer services, let them know!
Lynette Flage, NDSU Horizons Extension Project Director, emceed the program. She highlighted several community achievements including: Steele formed a non-profit organization for their local food pantry; Harvey set up a local community foundation for long-term philanthropic efforts (several other communities are in the process); Cando increased the local library mill levy; Dodge received a grant to purchase library resources; Walhalla got two new cell phone towers (something we could use around here in Rutland!). Other initiatives include Farmer’s Markets, walking trails, community theatre building renovations, and neighborhood watches. She mentioned that “Rutland, Steele, Maddock and Hazelton are working on housing issues in their community by surveying residents and working to develop various housing opportunities for all.”
Dr. D.C. Coston, NDSU Vice President for Agriculture and University Extension, spoke to attendees and recognized the achievements of the communities.
Governor Hoeven also spoke at the program and recognized the great strides that the Horizon communities have taken. He noted that North Dakota’s future depends on the six pillars of growth: education, economic development, agriculture, energy, technology and quality of life. The Governor said North Dakota has expanded its economy, adding thousands of new jobs, and grown its targeted industry sectors, including value-added agriculture, advanced manufacturing, energy development, technology-based business and tourism.
Following the Governor’s talk, there was time for photos and presentation of a plaque (and an $8500 check) to each community. Carolyn, Diane and I had our photo taken with The Governor, Dr. Coston, representatives from the Northwest Area Foundation, and Jodi Bruns, our advisor throughout the Horizons project.
Horizon community representatives gave a quick five-minute presentation or skit to communicate what they accomplished through the 18-month involvement with the Horizons program. Carolyn and I gave a quick PowerPoint presentation about Rutland’s work through the Horizons program and showed photos that demonstrated the involvement of our residents.
We all learned a lot and developed contacts to help us proceed with some of our action plan goals. I returned with a new sense of energy and a true feeling of accomplishment for what Rutland has done already. As Hubert H. Humphrey once said, “You don’t have to save the world. Just save your hometown. It will add up.”
I cannot believe it! We were “shooting for the stars” with our blogging, but getting frustrated that we weren’t getting the bloggers we needed. All of a sudden, people pitched in & we reached our goal. We were notified yesterday that we will receive a computer and printer for our community. The Rutland General Store, which has a wireless hook up, has generously donated space for them. It will be wonderful for people that do not otherwise have access to a computer, to be able to come to the Rutland General Store and use the one there.
Rails to Trails out of Washington, D.C. is recruiting 20,000 people to pledge to walk and bike more this year and use their vehicle less this year. Horizons communities around the state have identified actions to address poverty in their community. Many have identified our cultural reliance upon personal vehicles as an impediment to thriving communities. There is little public transport in rural areas and safe-bike ways are forgotten. Rails-to-Trails is an organization that has addressed this concern positively around the country, including in some of the Horizons communities. Take the pledge to support the effort to reduce our reliance upon oil and to build healthier communities where people are at the center. Visit their website to take the pledge.