Marketing Grant Award

The North Dakota Department of Tourism recently announced the sixteen recipients of the event or marketing grants and, yes, Rutland got a portion.  The  Coteau des Prairies Lodge, Rutland, received a matching grant award for marketing of the new guest lodge currently under construction.  You can follow the construction progress at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge website. (And while there, check out the great video from Rutland’s Uffda Day 2011 celebration!)

The Events Grant Program and Marketing Grant Program provide a maximum of $5,000 in matching funds for promotion of regional events and for specific tourism marketing plans. A total of $69,100 was awarded between the two programs. For more information on tourism grants, contact Dean Ihla with North Dakota Tourism at 701-328-3505 or dihla@nd.gov.

Horizon Funds Allocated

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.

City Hall Renovation Needs

At the Rutland Community Club meeting earlier this week one of the items discussed was the bathroom renovation which had been in the planning stages for several months – or is it years?  The discussion brought up the issue of all the needs in the Town Hall including a new heating unit and insulation in addition to handicap accessible bathrooms.  We were told that if some maintenance is not done on the building soon we could lose it.  It is estimated that the cost to update the building would be close to $100,000.

The City of Rutland does not have the funds to do what needs to be done.  Residents are writing grants and planning fundraisers but that will not be enough.  Letters have been sent to current and former Rutland residents informing them of these needs and to ask for donations for a maintenance and rehabilitation fund for Rutland Town Hall.  As seen above, the building looks good from the outside and appears clean and white but as we know looks can be deceiving.

Donations are asked to be sent to the Rutland Community Club, PO Box 65, Rutland ND 58067.  If anyone knows a potential source of large funding for a city building renovation, please let us know.  During these tough economic times we need to identify and approach any and every available source.

Horizons Funds Available

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!

Horizons Celebration

Yesterday, Carolyn Christensen, Diane Smith and I attended the Horizons Final Celebration in Bismarck. Representatives from all 21 communities were there to share in the recognition.

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.”