December 28, 2015
Ray McMillan is enjoying the view out the clear, new windows that were recently installed in the house he has lived in since he was 4-years-old. “I couldn’t see out the windows – they were so clouded with condensation,” McMillan said during a visit to his home. McMillan, along with 14 other homeowners in the City of Cavalier, have had or will have rehabilitation work done on their homes. Funds have been provided by the USDA Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant program, the ND Department of Commerce/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Block Grant program, the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, the City of Cavalier, and the Pembina County Job Development Authority. More than $400,000 has been awarded for this project. The Red River Regional Council (RRRC) is administering the program, which began in 2013. The project assists qualifying low income residents with health and safety issues in their homes. Common repairs covered by the program include roofing, windows, doors, plumbing, heating, electrical and other safety items. For a project to move forward, issues including historic preservation, floodplain, and lead-based paint must be addressed. Stacie Sevigny, a developer with the RRRC, is the project manager for the Cavalier Housing Rehabilitation Project. She said that funding is currently available to add at least 11 more homes to the project, if people apply. “We are seeking more eligible homeowners who need rehabilitation work done in their homes,” Sevigny said. “Rehab work covered under the grants includes health and safety items. No cosmetic items can be addressed with these funds.” There is no cost to the homeowner for this program. To apply, residents need to complete a two page application and provide copies of supporting income documentation. Applications are available at the city offices or from any member of the Cavalier Housing Authority. Members include: Drew Olafson, Tom Ford, Darold Johnson, Rachel Morrison, Wayne Puppe and Corene Vaughn. Interested residents can also contact Sevigny at 701-352-3550 for an application or further information on how to apply. To qualify, homes must be within the city limits of Cavalier and must be owner-occupied. Homeowners must be current on taxes and have no outstanding debt with the City of Cavalier. Mobile homes do not qualify. Olafson, chairman of the Cavalier Housing Authority, is a strong advocate for the program. “Housing rehab is critically important to any rural community,” Olafson said. “In my opinion, housing is the core of economic development; a strong housing market is an indicator of a strong community.” McMillan agrees the program is worthwhile. “The guys did an excellent job and I am so impressed with the program,” he said. Homeowners interested in the program should contact Sevigny at the RRRC at 701-352-3550 for more information or any member of the housing committee. To see the income eligibility requirements and supporting documentation needed to apply, please click here: Cavalier Housing Applicant Poster
October 22, 2015
September 30, 2015
We are delighted to have Maggie Suda join our team this week as a Developer for the Red River Regional Council. Maggie will be leading the development of a Business Retention and Expansion Program in Pembina County in the coming months as well as assisting with our economic development projects and initiatives. North Dakota native Maggie Suda was raised in Wahpeton and Fargo. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead, she moved to Minneapolis,Minnesota to pursue a career in advertising. There she spent ten years at an advertising agency doing media strategy for clients such as Target Corporation, General Growth Properties, Red Wing Shoes and United Way. During that time she earned her master's degree in Business Communications from the University of St. Thomas.
September 30, 2015
As a result of extensive strategic planning efforts in 2014 and early 2015, the Pembina County Job Development Authority (JDA) is initiating a business retention and expansion (BR&E) program. With the input of more than 50 community and business leaders throughout the county, a number of general business development strategies and essential action steps were identified which includes creating a firm foundation for more strategic development within the county. The BR&E program will hit on a number of essential action steps including:
- Inventory available land and buildings for commercial and industrial use
- Determine what new services a new business could provide to an existing business
- Determine what services are lacking in the county
- Identify business training needs and create educational opportunities for existing businesses
- Identify businesses in need of succession planning
September 17, 2015
Impactful people, projects and ideas will be acknowledged as part of a new and exciting event – the “Ideas to Actions Summit” – hosted by the Red River Regional Council (RRRC). What began as an annual meeting for the regional economic and community development agency is now emerging as an event that will showcase visionary leadership, action, and determination that positively impacts the region’s communities. This year’s Summit is set for November 4, 2015 in Grafton. “We want to expend more effort acknowledging the time, determination, and enthusiasm put forth by our local citizens, organizations, governments, and businesses that result in making our region a great place to live, work, and thrive,” said Dawn Keeley, Executive Director of the Council. “We are anxious to begin receiving nominations, as we know there are so many deserving people, projects and ideas in our region.” The new awards have been given names that represent the work being recognized. The North Star Award will go to the idea(s) that illuminate opportunities or create a guiding light for progress within a community. The Catalyst Award will recognize an individual who acts as a “kickstarter” for an idea or project. The Determination Award will go to a successful project that has created a significant impact on a community. The RRRC is currently accepting nominations for three awards to be presented at the Summit in November. The deadline for nominations is October 9, 2015. More information about award criteria and how to complete a nomination form can be accessed several ways: the RRRC’s website at www.redriverrc.com; the RRRC’s Facebook page; by calling the RRRC at 701.352.3550 to request a form be mailed to you; or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideas to Actions Summit Awards Nomination Form
September 16, 2015
The Walsh County Historic Preservation Commission (WCHPC) is serving as host for the 2015 Annual State Conference of Historic Preservation Commissions in North Dakota. The Conference is set for Saturday, September 19, 2015 in the community room of the City Office building in Park River, ND. On the agenda will be presentations on the process of completing historical preservation through architectural documentation and a briefing on Walsh County’s project that involves organizing GPS waypoint trails and placing geocaches at historic sites in an effort to expand visitation and awareness of each site. The group will also tour sites in Walsh County, including the railroad water tower, Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s (WCTU) water fountain in Park River, the General Store and the site of a visible OxCart Trail in and near Edinburg. Seven commissions in North Dakota are certified by their local governments to provide programs that provide for the preservation, protection, renovation and public use of historic properties within their jurisdictions. The cities of Buffalo, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, and Grand Forks, as well as Walsh County and Pembina County are all Certified Local Governments. If a historic property lies within the boundaries of one of these local governments, the Historic Preservation Commission or its coordinator should be informed of decisions regarding your historic property. The Red River Regional Council (RRRC) provides administrative support to the WCHPC – the host of this conference. The RRRC is one of eight regional planning councils in North Dakota established in 1973 to enhance the ability of local governments to jointly plan, address issues, and seize opportunities that transcend individual boundaries. The RRRC serves Region IV which includes Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, and Walsh Counties. More information can be found at www.redriverrc.com. The conference agenda can be found here: https://www.redriverrc.com/event/walsh-county-historic-preservation-commission-to-host-state-conference/
The City of Crystal is currently in process of preparing for a Citywide Street Improvement Project. The city has received North Dakota Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to help pay for a portion of this project. The cost of the project will be divided among the property owners in the form of special assessments. However, homeowners whose incomes fall within CDBG program guidelines for Pembina County can apply to have their special assessments paid for by the grant. The Red River Regional Council (RRRC) will be administering the grant for the city. Household incomes that fall within the amounts below may be eligible to have 100% of their special assessments paid for by the grant: 1 person $24,750 or less 2 people $28,250 or less 3 people $31,800 or less 4 people $35,300 or less 5 people $38,150 or less 6 people $40,950 or less If after paying the special assessments of residents who qualify in the above category, Crystal residents who are above those limits but fall within the following limits may be eligible for payment of their special assessments. 1 person $24,751 - $39,550 2 people $28,251 - $45,200 3 people $31,801 - $50,850 4 people $35,301 - $56,500 5 people $38,151 - $61,050 6 people $40,951 - $65,550 Owner-occupied residences will be considered first. If funds are remaining, rental properties can be considered if the renter qualifies and the owner signs an agreement not to raise rent due to the special assessments. Applications can be obtained from Crystal City Auditor Alva Brown or from the RRRC office by calling 701-352-3550. Proof of income and the application are required for participation in this program. Proof of income includes:
- Your 2014 income tax statement, if applicable
- If you did not file income tax in 2014, then you must provide two months of your current personal bank statements
- 2015 Social Security benefits statement, if applicable
- If employed, pay stubs for the past two months
- Documentation of any other form of income as noted on the back of the application
- 2014 property tax statement
July 8, 2015
Walsh and Pembina counties are currently seeking cities interested in some extra funding help for community betterment projects. Both Pembina and Walsh counties are accepting applications for projects as part of their ½ Mill “Self-Help” Programs. There are many ways communities can use these county funds for betterment projects. Examples of projects cities used the funds toward last year include: culvert installation; purchase of tables and chairs for community center; maintenance and mowing at a city park; toward the cost of a city lift station; street repair; landscaping; and toward the cost of a warming house at an outdoor ice rink. The main objective is to promote development within communities of Pembina and Walsh counties. There are three program criteria:
- ½ Mill requests cannot exceed one-half of the total project cost, nor can the request exceed $1,500.
- The county funds must be matched 1:1. Funds will be released on a reimbursement basis with supporting documentation.
- A copy of a resolution or minutes of the meeting when the applicant authorized the project must be included with the application. The city must include in its minutes that it plans to apply for self-help funds for a specific project.
June 9, 2015
“Pembina has a lot of younger families having children and we have no child care spots available. I think it would be very beneficial to the community not only for the children but could also offer job positions!” This was the comment of one of the Childcare Feasibility Study responders. The Pembina Growth Committee, in conjunction with the Pembina County Job Development Authority (PCJDA) and Red River Regional Council, had put together this survey on Survey Monkey to establish whether a licensed day care facility would be needed in the community. With over 50 responses in about 2 weeks, 35 responders stated that they would consider using a licensed childcare facility in Pembina if it was available. The survey covered several topics, including demographic data of the responders as well as number and ages of children needing care. The total number of children identified as needing care included 40 children aged infant to five years old, and twelve from ages 6 through 12. 73% of the respondents already live in Pembina, and 78% work in Pembina. Of the responders who answered the question “Would you consider using a licensed childcare center in Pembina if it were available?”, 74% (35 responders) stated yes. The number of children this could affect is 51. A few respondents identified their need for as little as 16 hours per week, but the majority of those responding with numbers of hours listed 40 or more hours of care needed. These people also identified Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM as the primary need for licensed childcare. The second highest need for childcare hours was from 6 AM to noon, with over 50% choosing that response. Seven responders identified their need would be from 3 PM to midnight, and four identified an overnight shift. A few respondents noted that after school and summers would be the primary need. Eighty-five percent of responders were focused on Monday through Friday hours, but there were nine responders interested in Saturday hours, and seven interested in Sunday hours. As of this survey, 50% of responders said it would not matter if the licensed daycare offered preschool or not. The other half of the responses showed 16 would like to have preschool provided. Comments on specific desires for children include: “Available opportunity for indoor gross motor in cold months.” “Just want someone to enjoy their job as a day care provider and to know my children are safe.” “School focused” “Dietary accommodations when necessary; adequate staffing for number of kids” “Mandatory nap time after 5 hours.” “Learning focused; crafts for preschool and up; limited television and video games” According to respondent number 29: “I think it would be very beneficial for Pembina to have a [licensed] daycare facility because I know of several people that have decided to live elsewhere due to the limited daycare options.” The Growth Committee agrees and is proceeding with applying for grant funding to secure a mobile home to set up for the facility. At least one of the grants will not be awarded before August 2015, but the Committee is moving ahead by seeking approval from the City Council, working on a business plan, contacting potential workers, and seeking an acceptable home to be moved in. Currently, city lots are being considered for set-up. Adequate zoning/parking is a consideration, as well as available space for safe outdoor play. If you have questions or concerns about this project, or if you know of a good-quality mobile home for sale, please contact the Pembina City office, or Growth Committee members Corie Koropatnicki, Mason Peters, Darcy Reis, Shelly Rude, Al Huttunen, Dan Anderson, Gary Helland, Joan Studney, Kathy Johnson, or Dawn Keeley at the Red River Regional Council office in Grafton.