BISMARCK, ND (STL.News) – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum today kicked off the third annual 2020 Main Street ND Summit, delivering opening remarks about building community resiliency and announcing two new tools to aid communities with planning and development.
The interactive, virtual summit serves as a forum for information on the community planning principles behind the three pillars of the governor’s Main Street Initiative: a 21st century workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities.
Burgum welcomed the more than 800 participants who registered for the summit and provided a Main Street Initiative overview and accomplishments spanning the last year among the 75 communities engaged in the initiative. Burgum also emphasized topics related to this year’s theme, “Building Resilient Communities,” during his remarks.
“The Main Street Initiative is about building capacity to empower local leaders to strengthen their communities and proactively plan for their futures, including fiscally responsible development and infrastructure decisions,” Burgum said.
Burgum announced a new tool, the North Dakota New Development Calculator, which will allow local decision-makers and citizens to estimate the fiscal impact of a potential new development, based on estimated costs of supporting and maintaining new infrastructure and the property and sales tax revenue collected from a new project.
“This tool will help local leaders and developers maximize the return on investment for their communities and ensure they have the resources to pay for their infrastructure well into the future,” Burgum said of the tool, developed with help from the city of Bismarck and Civitecture Studio in Bismarck.
A new Economic Development Ecosystem Map tool will give community leaders and economic developers an easily accessible map of partners and resources in their area supporting community and economic development. Users will be able to add layers to a map of North Dakota to show which partner organizations and programs are operating at a statewide, regional and even community level, to enhance the collaboration and utilization of resources and expertise across all corners of the state.
The two-day summit features more than 20 speakers and panelists. Breakout sessions will include workforce development, partnership between businesses and community to retain and attract workforce, business and organizational succession planning, and community and economic development.