Editorial: A good year for SW ND, here's to anotherOverall, the Dickinson area has had a good year.
Overall, the Dickinson area has had a good year.
The population rose 4.7 percent during the last decade, outpacing optimistic expectations.
This is much-needed news to keep a sustainable workforce in the area.
Oil rigs popping up across the area also means a number of out-of-state workers popping in, some for short stints and others permanently.
This has made it hard for many employers to find employees in a number of sectors of the business world — everything from the oil business to outside of it: restaurants, stores, hotels, carpentry, mechanics and almost any industry imaginable.
As far as the economy, southwest North Dakota (and all of North Dakota) also had a stellar year.
The Associated Press’ monthly analysis in December showed the healthiest states were in the Great Plains and New England and once again, North Dakota was at the top of the list.
The report calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates and North Dakota was at 3.5 (the lower the better).
We hope the economic prosperity and population growth continues. However, these are our hopes and requests for 2011:
- We give much credit to the Dickinson Recycling Committee and its work to get a reuse plan together for the area. The Dickinson landfill is the largest municipal landfill in southwest North Dakota and accepts waste from 23 communities. It’s time to decrease the amount of junk that fills it.
We ask the committee to get one aspect of recycling in place by the end of the summer — be it paper, aluminum, glass or plastic. All would be great but as one committee member said, “start small.”
And we ask all communities working on a program to forge ahead. Those who have no reuse plans; it’s time to get the ball rolling.
- You’ve heard it all before; area officials need to have a clear path when it comes to growth, and there is no doubt we are growing. There is a housing crunch but rushing into OKing where subdivisions, industry and commercial facilities go needs to be well thought out. It could come back to bite us. Listen to constituents, set timelines and read the fine print before signing contracts and giving approval.
- A less-than-flattering Dickinson State University staff survey was released recently. State officials don’t intend to look into the survey for a few months but we urge local university officials to start making changes immediately. In an earlier Press article, DSU President Dr. Richard McCallum said, “We’ll have the opportunity as a university to analyze this information and move forward in a positive way.” Sit down with employees and see what they need and do it soon before the university loses any more fine staff members.
DSU is a leader in so many ways and it takes dedicated people to keep it that way.
- We also ask that all southwest North Dakota residents be pleasant to their neighbors, and just as importantly, to those who are new to the area.
We are all in this together and kindness goes a long ways.
The best to you in the new year.
Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Jennifer McBride make up The Press Editorial Board. E-mail Brock at email@example.com or McBride at Jmcbride@thedickinsonpress.com.