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 Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.

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mouthpiece
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PostSubject: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:36 pm

In a headline article in the Watertown Public opinion, the Opinion asserts that Milbank may be an area where there continues to be growth and jobs. The article named a number of businesses where jobs are hard to fill. These businesses include West-con, Link-It and Synergy just to name a few.

This is a clear demonstration that the population decreases are now effecting our ability to provide meaningful and well paying jobs. In the next few days I will be writing about alarming things that are occuring in Minnesota because of population decreases.

May I boldly suggest that what is about to happen in Minnesota may be foretelling what can happen in Grant County.

We desparately need to find jobs for the future of this area.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:48 pm

Cannot deny the drop in population but do not think it is due to a mass exodus.
A couple of years ago i was sitting in our church chapel before the service. There were 3 ladies in the front pew, i remember thinking "wow, collectively those 3 ladies had nearly 40 children"
In the next pew were also 3 ladies, a little younger,and my brain was on a roll and i figured that all together they had about 25 children.
There were only two of us in my pew and we were a little younger yet, between the two of us we had 10 children another would have made about 15 i would guess.
I did not turn around, the service was about to start, lol. But had the pattern of a little younger ladies continued they would have probobly each had 2 children or at the most three, making the count between 6-9.
So my point is the drop in population is probobly more due to attrition than anything else.
What do you think?
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PostSubject: What are we doing for our children   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:25 pm

What are we doing for our children

It is well established statistically that the demographics are altering because our children are not returning to their homes because there is a lack of opportunity.

We need more than minimum wage jobs.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:52 pm

I being one of the children that returned after being gone 10 years, let me say I think about leaving all the time. The job situation is bad, There is nothing to do most of the year in the area, And the few things there is do do, say like golfing in the warm months, keep going up in price. The golf course here is the least used course i have ever played on, and to me the more the prices go up the less poeple that will play, people playing on the course would bring in more money to the clubhouse, and get people playing more often. For such a nice course there should be people waiting in line to tee off. And after living in Ortonville for 4 years and owning my home the cost of living increase is breaking the bank, utilities have doubled, my property tax's have doubled and now I have to seperate my garbage for pickup while the gabrage company make money for my work and my garbage bill has not gone down. I see other towns pay their citizens for their recycling effort. I move back to town to live an affoardable life and raise my kids but way things are going I could have stayed in Arizona, cost is about the same now. Oh and almost forot, there is noplace to shop in town, I can order online from Ebay and walmart from anywhere in the country. I have a job I love in town and right now its about the only thing keeping me and my family here.
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joelie hicks
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:22 am

wow; as a person w/a kid that wants to return here i find that disturbing.
i moved here from mpls a little over 30 years ago, born and raised inside the city limits there. there were adjustments when i moved here, some things were harder than others, but i never lacked things to do. I am glad you love your job, how does your family like it?
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:40 am

replying to mouthpiece here.
i think this would be a great time to establish a business or profession because technology allows us to live nearly anywhere and do all sorts of jobs.
In MN the LSP (land stewardship project) is making an effort to help people find a way of life that they will find fulfilling.
I think on both sides of the border we as a community should begin to identify what we want to be, and do the same thing as individual families.
Many of the minimum wage jobs in the area are owned by people who are just getting by too.
I will use our situation for example. We pay 6.55-7.00 an hour to a mostly high school workforce, and that is the best we can do, , but this is a secondary thing for us, we as owners pay ourselves nothing and have not raised our prices for 10 years, this we do for love. When we see many of our patrons bring their families at some sacrifice to themselves we hate to make it even harder for them. Our extra $$$ goes for improvements to the place, we hope some day to pay ourselves.
i do not know how some business owners make ends meet and pay their help.
So rather than working for someone else, except as an auxiliary income, it might be interesting to think about creating a business.
The MN side seems more fine arts oriented, especially all the cool stuff at Milan. Milbank is more industrial, both have pros and cons. Milbank seems more prosperous, Ortonville has more soul.
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PostSubject: Great REsponse   Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:46 am

Great REsponse

We need to think out of the box. We need to bring something positive to our children. The Internet redefines boundaries and from a business perspective attack and employ the internet as our friend.

You are exactly correct when you are talking about the owners of businesses. It is difficult to pay more because the owners are not taking much out of the business.

Now let's explore where the new Milbank and Ortonville should move. By the way, I have felt for 20 years that the people in Ortonville are good people but thier leadership tends to be self centered.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:40 am

we need to set an example and give our children the tools to do something for themselves.
i would love to see a group of people sit down and pound out some good, realistic types of businesses that are needed and/or wanted and what really needs to happen to make it real.
In Milbank for example, there are several empty buildings that are in great shape or at least very workable.
Could the old middle school be rehabbed into a school of some sort, for a specific trade, or an art center with lots of studio space, there is also a stage and large gym area. Could it be used by artists, musicians, dance instructors? What about an up to code kitchen put in to be rented for those who want to make food for farmers markets? what about a year-round farmers market? the parking lot in the summer and the gym in the winter?
the old mundwiler funeral home is for sale, with the right owners that place could be a charming restaurant, with extra space for a good bookstore or some other little business(es).
at the north end of main street is another building, it might be just the place for a group of people who e-bay items etc. my bro makes a good living w/e-bay and he has customers from all over the world.
I know these kinds of things cost $$$ and elbow grease but wouldn't this kind of thing be as good or better than one more industry that might or might not stay past it's incentive time?
i often thought that in the hills (past marvin) that it would be a great place for a seasonal health spa. people could fly in to watertown which is only a little more than 30 min away, but if the land gets raped by jillions of windmills and transmission lines, it will become even more of a no mans land i am afraid.
the birdfeeder in twin brooks should be an inspiration, and in rural twin brooks a hunting lodge is being built to accomodate game preserve hunters.
lots of ideas, i am sure there are many with much better ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:44 am

Great job Joelie!
There are a lot of really good ideas in your post. Idea
It would be nice if some of your ideas could come true.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:20 am

years ago i worked in mpls and i would poke around the warehouse district and nicolett island and think, wow, these are really cool places. others with initiative,$$, and fire in their belly had the same idea and the result is amazing.
i just know there are people like that here.
rather than recruit businesses from other places, i would love to see our community grow from within and that will continue to make it an attractive place.
recently; bien pharmacy and the feel good shop have invested in the community and shown faith that they think this is a great place to live.
we should be growing what we have first.
like feeding and nurturing your own children before you go out to save the world, lol.
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PostSubject: It only takes a spark   Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:54 am

You have a great vision. There are acres of diamonds in our own back yard. What helps that along is a positive vision. It comes from within. There are more people like you who think about how things could be. For all who read these posts and want to see Milbank prosper take heart. Just as a fire starts with a spark prosperity starts with an idea. Start dreaming about the way you want things to be then look for people who will share that vision. I know that there are some people in MN who were looking to find a commercial kitchen for small farmers who want to sell their produce. Now that you have mentioned the school I will tell them about it. If we work together great things can happen for the good.

That school building is a gold mine. What other ideas could we think of. Offices? Apartments? Mall? Hmmmmm.

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson


Last edited by Lady Hawk on Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:09 am

Good ideas Ladyhawk!
Some projects and businesses need beautiful space and some just need ...space.
if people provide what others want people will come. People come from all over the U.S. to attend the Milan folk arts school, people come from all over the area to buy from Lou's Greenhouse. The Twin Brooks Farmers market grows every year. I would like to see an indoor market somewhere. I by less and less that is not locally produced.
I think the mill, once it starts working to grind flour has some possibilities too.
Personally, i do not want to become a sioux falls, with all it's troubles as well as delights, not even a watertown... just to be what we are; a good solid town of 3-4,000 that can be safe, healthy and provide goods and services necessary to live.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:23 pm

I don't think anyone is looking at it like that. What would be most beneficial is just a good solid economy to support the people who live here. If people wanted to live in a large city they can. For those who choose to live here there is the desire for a safe healthy environment to live in.

I don't think there are plans for the mill to grind flour for sale. There are requirements for producing food for resale and I don't know if it will be cost effective. The city administrator Jason Kettwig could explain it better.




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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson


Last edited by Lady Hawk on Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: What have we done for our children   Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:52 pm

What have we done for our children?

I understand what everyone is saying but statistically the two things that bring our children back to their home town are jobs paying more than minimum wage and an education for our children.

This includes education and recreation. We want our children to participate in extra-curricular activities.

It is not just keeping what we have but being progressive and open minded in our approach to the future.

The future is the web. Business no longer has boundaries because of location. Look at businesses today. Many outsource to India or overseas.

Why can't we be looking out of the box and be the outsource location? I am looking for out of the box ideas for growth, especially for Grant County.

Let's speak out of the box with more new and vibrant ideas. We already have some but let's expand and see how creative we can be.

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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:44 pm

The future lies w/those willing to be entrepreneurs and those willing to help invest in them.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:07 pm

People sit here and complain on a message board, but when its time for something new to come to the area, hypocrites try to stop and vote down every single thing that tries to come in. The tree huggers try to stop the power plant, people north of town had a fit with at $40 million dollar dairy.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:56 pm

That is because we are interested in real, long term true projects that will benefit the community more than it robs it.
I have not heard any of the people you mention whining or complaining. We are too busy working.
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PostSubject: Re: Loss of Population continues to cause problems in area.   Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:18 am

I want to apologize, while i meant what i said in the previous post, i do not want to sound snippy.
Truly all the people who were so wonderful this year about the issues you mentioned have logical, sincere reasons for their stand. And truly, none of them have whined about the local economy. At this post we are just looking for ideas that would encourage some of our young people to return to the area.
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PostSubject: The goal is a better community.   Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:08 am

Wow, Jolie, you have my respect. That was very gracious of you.

The goal of this Fourum is for people to be able to talk so that we can better our lives. This very topic was discussed in Big Stone City by some thirty people in three different groups. None of the groups knew what the other groups were discussing until we all came together for a final meeting. That shows that this particular topic is of interest and needed to improve our lives.

One has to expect that there will be differing opinions as to how to a healthy community will be established. Despite those differing views it is best if we maintain civility and keep talking.

Through communication is gained knowledge. The ideas being presented here can inspire great things. Instead of people sitting around their kitchen table griping how bad things are I see people on this forum thinking of ways to better ourselves.

All this talk gets me excited thinking about the future. whee

In an economy that the media is painting as dark there is a ray of sunshine in the Big Stone Lake Area. The national press is making comparisons to the Great Depression. For those members of our community who lived in that time they can tell us of the spirit of defeat that people felt. Hopelessness feeds hopelessness.

What brought people out of the depression was the spirit of hope that was created after the victory in WWII. After defeating the evil in Europe people felt confident to conquor the world and pressed on to raise America to another level of prosperity.

Let's put on our spirit of confidence and go forth. Very Happy

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson


Last edited by Lady Hawk on Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: We must learn to be humble and listen closely to others.   Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:17 pm

We must learn to be humble and listen closely to others.

As I read Dani's, Jolie's and Lady Hawks posts all humble me to learn to listen more effectively and communicate with humility. If I sound as if I am sniping I apologize. I am excited to see others posts and would encourage all of you to continue your posts.

In other threads we have promoted Baseball fields, ice arenas, swimming pools and have promoted and presented the pros and cons of the power plant.

As a person who has significant education and experience in the area of rural development I oppose large feedlots because they tend to displace family farmers causing a negative impact on our schools and business communities. The statistics also show that the new feedlots tends to replace family farms with minimum wage jobs.

I am in a very unique position with the power plant. I live in Milbank and work in Ortonville. My personal opinion is that Big Stone City and Milbank will receive a gigantic economic impact from the plant. My opinion is that Ortonville will receive less economic impact from the power plant and there is some evidence that a new plant may have a significant negative environmental effect.

I also posted a recent ash spill in Tennessee and requested information whether this was a possibility with this power plant. To date there has been no response.

It is the goal of this forum to listen with objectivity to all.

Keep up the good work. I attempt to listen and respect all.

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PostSubject: straight talk on population   Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:20 pm

There is a pretty good site for south dakota population data [url=http://sdrurallife.sdstate.edu/]http://sdrurallife.sdstate.edu/[/url]
There is a lot of difference between counties. Looking at the age structure of a population tells you alot. Looking at the number of full time farms or farms with gross sales over 100,000 dollars gives you an idea of the number of full time farmers, etc.
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PostSubject: Grant County   Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:40 pm

For example Grant County SD lost 551 people due to migration 1990 - 2000. That was a 6.6 % population loss. SD counties are adapting to population losses like that. 90 to 1999: 943 births, 947 deaths. Yes, migration is the major population loss factor in Grant. Some counties are shrinking faster due to lower birth rates. what kind of job opportunities will be good enough for our own kids? I have two kids, one likes working in the family business. But the chances of her moving back to Grant after college are slim. We will see.
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PostSubject: Have you given up?   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:20 pm

Have you given up?

The answer to your question is in your thread. Rural communities have a lot to offer our children. A safe, stable environment with good schools.

However, if we continue to promote only large farms and do not have policies that support the average family farms we will continue to have decreases in population and little hope to stem the loss of population trends created by extremely bad farm policies in Washington D.C.

We all need to work in stemming decreasing population trends or are children will have no reason to return.

Do not lose hope. Let's work together.
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PostSubject: loss of population continues to cause problems in our area   Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:22 pm

Giving up on what?

"In agriculture, there are growing opportunities to tap higher value markets. The nationwide Hartman Survey found that over half of consumers would pay a premium for food produced in an environmentally sound way. A [i]Better Homes and Gardens[/i] and [i]Successful Farming[/i] survey found that 57% of consumers would pay a premium for pork produced on small family farms and over 70% would pay a premium for pork produced on environmentally responsible farms.
Cooperatives like Oregon Country Beef have demonstrated that family farms and ranches can tap those markets to earn consistent premiums by producing a high quality product in ways consumers support - in their case natural, hormone-free beef produced in humane conditions on environmentally responsible ranches. "


Here is an exerpt from the testimony of Chuck Hassebrook Center for Rural Affairs on Rural Development in the Farm Bill......

"Others would pay a premium for meat and livestock products cut in a certain way to meet their cultural traditions. Others will pay a premium for grain with certain milling characteristics.


These markets present an opportunity for farmers and ranchers to add more of the value to agricultural products and capture more of the profit. For the most part, however, we lack the cooperatives and small businesses to link consumers looking for these products with the family farmers and ranchers who have what they want while capturing the profit in the rural community. "

There's lots of room for development in agriculture in our area. Ethanol is an example of a more industrial developement, but environmentally sound and using local money and a local product, corn. The jobs at the local plant are good jobs, good enough even for the naysayers. The marketing of specialty beef has some potential. I am going to check it out for my own calves. There's dakota beef program through the State of South Dakota that looks pretty good. It is the only State sponsored labeling program that I am aware of. The Valley Queen Chees plant was talking about expanding, it pays well and if it can get the milk it's sort of jobs will attract people here. An artisan cheese plant or and artisan bakery has some potential since we have good livestock and grain growing country right here. I invested in an artisan bakery in Colorado, lost my shirt but it was a good place to send northern plains grain and it made something good for people to eat, the jobs it created were decent jobs, more than minimum wage. Wind may someday produce some jobs here, the construction and maintenance of the turbines is just part of the economic benefit. Wind is environmetally sound and the turbines are very long lived. People of working age are leaving, agriculture and wind are two major local resources right now. I work in agriculture and I am a fan of environmentally sound industry and responsible free enterprise.
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PostSubject: A plan for growth   Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:41 pm

After hearing discussions about cutting jobs in the area and eliminating law enforcement I decided that we should remain focused in our goals in Milbank, Big Stone City and the suburb of Big Stone City, Ortonville.

When we deal with cutbacks in the current economic decline, emotions tend to run strong and each person has an opinion on which department and how much should be cut. In the surrounding area an approach that could be taken is as follows:

We should begin by examining essential services vs. economic development. Essential services in a city would include medical facilities, police, fire department, streets and utilities departments and city administration are the essential services that come to mind. The equipment of these essential services would be included as an essential service.

Currently, it would appear that a large portion of the cut backs are occurring in police departments, office administration and the street department.

The other areas that the city expends money are in the area of recreation, parks and boards and golf courses.

This area has already taken some hits and is an area that involves more discretionary spending.

The last area that there is some discretionary funding is in the area of economic development.

May I suggest three criteria to weigh and balance in determining what cut backs should be taken. These criteria are:

1. Does the expenditure tend to increase population.
2. Does the expenditures tend to create or maintain long term jobs.
3. Does the expenditures increase long term revenue for the entity, including increasing value of real estate.

Is this a logical approach?
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