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“When I look around a town and see neglected property, I see an opportunity. The first step is simply to see if the property can be purchased directly without any government involvement. A nice conversation is a good place to start.” stated Craig Johnson
After learning about the role of code enforcement officers
at a RuralX breakout session in 2016, Anita Holan decided to pursue the idea in
her own community of Kimball, where she serves as the Economic Development
“The more attractive a town is, the easier it is to recruit
and retain businesses,” she explains. “Quality housing is important to the
vitality of a community, and therefore
becomes important to my job in economic development.”
While at RuralX, Anita heard about Mike Olsen, a code
enforcement officer contracted in several rural communities around the area. She
talked with Mike about the needs in Kimball, and a few months later, he presented
his information to the City Council. In August 2017,
he was officially hired.
The first step in the code enforcement process involved having
Mike assess all the properties within the Kimball city limits and writing up a
list of homeowners in violation of various … Read More »
Flexibility and creativity are key components to rural
housing development, where a lack of affordable housing can often hamper
economic development efforts and deter new families from moving to town.
Centerville has been striving to meet the needs of families
by providing housing solutions through the Centerville Economic Development
“The first project that comes to mind started before I came
on board,” explains Jared Hybertson, Economic Development Coordinator in
Centerville. “The Economic Development Corporation identified a young man
living in poor conditions. This young man was about to have a family, so they
worked to get them into a Governor’s House. The Governor’s House was moved onto
the lot of a home that had previously been condemned and torn down.”
In a creative twist, the dilapidated home being lived in by
the young man was not torn down. Instead, the Economic Development Corporation
received funding through the South Dakota Housing Authority … Read More »
Belle Fourche’s story begins in 2013 after a housing study done by Community Partners Research out of Faribault, Minnesota revealed a dire lack of adequate housing. The results were worse than expected, and the Economic Development Corporation decided to step in to see what they could do to help.
“The first thing we did was speak to the high school,” says Hollie Stalder, Director of Economic Development in Belle Fourche. “Each year, the technical students build a home with the help of trained professionals. Those homes were being sold and often times, moved out of town. We wanted to help our housing situation by keeping these well-built home in the community.”
The next step was finding lots for the homes.
They found a few empty lots in town that worked, but the last three properties were acquired through demolition of older dilapidated homes. … Read More »
It’s a chilly day in December and cars and buses are lining the streets of Hoven, population 400. From a distance you can see the majestic church spires piercing the pale blue sky, a beacon to people traveling here from near and far. Affectionately known as the “Cathedral on the Prairie,” St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hoven attracts many visitors throughout the year—but today over one thousand people will flock here to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with “Christmas on the Prairie,” featuring glorious music from a variety of highly regarded choirs and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.
“A former priest, Father Lance Oser, started this tradition in 2003 when he reached out to the South Dakota Symphony and they agreed to come,” explains Mary Keller, lifelong Hoven resident and the event’s Choral Coordinator. “It is a work … Read More »