FD moves forward in community competition

There was a time when the news that Fort Dodge is advancing in a nationwide competition would be somewhat surprising.

But not now.

Fort Dodge is in a renaissance, on a growth path admired by leaders throughout the state, including Gov. Terry Branstad.

Our city has learned how to do growth right.

That is why the announcement by Greg Hinz, the Iowa general manager for Frontier Communications, is welcome, but not totally unexpected.

Fort Dodge is one of 15 semifinalists in the America’s Best Communities contest, but it could eventually win up to $3 million for improving the northwest side of the city.

“This is, I feel, a major milestone for the community of Fort Dodge and the citizens here,” Hinz said when announcing the news.

Fort Dodge has already received $50,000 from the competition, which is sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel.

The $50,000 was spent to develop a plan for improving the neighborhood now called the Northwest River District.

Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich said the advancement to the semifinal round shows the value of such planning. The planning, he said, is “really showing validity when we have a national competition like this looking at how we organize ourselves and how we plan for our future.”

The city did not win any additional money by advancing to the semifinal round. However, by advancing the city is now in position to become one of eight communities that will recieve $100,000.

Next year, the top prize winners will be named. The top community will receive $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for the third place town.

“It’s really exciting,” Bemrich said. “I know our city staff, the Growth Alliance, worked very, very hard to get us to this point.”

Any additional competition winnings will be spent in the Northwest River District. Bemrich said the area will remain a high priority. He has said in the past that improvements there will go forward, although probably at a slower rate, even if the city doesn’t win any more money in the competition.

The city entered the competition in late 2014.

“After we issued the challenge, what happened in this community was truly inspiring,” Hinz said. “This community came together from across public, private and nonprofit sectors to collaborate and develop a path forward for the community. We united behind a vision for an even better Fort Dodge, and I’m here to tell you today the hard work has paid off.”

The next step is to send three representatives to an America’s Best Communities summit April 26-27 in Durham, North Carolina. There, the Northwest River District plan will be presented to a panel of judges.

The Messenger heartily congratulates those who made the city’s standing in this contest possible, particularly the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance and the city of Fort Dodge.

FD moves forward in community competition

Fort Dodge is advancing in a nationwide competition, and could eventually win up to $3 million for improving the northwest side of the city.

The city is now one of 15 semifinalists in the America’s Best Communities contest, Greg Hinz, the Iowa general manager for Frontier Communications, announced Wednesday morning.

“It is indeed my privilege and honor to announce that Fort Dodge has emerged as one of the top 15 finalists and is moving forward in the America’s Best Communities competition,” he said during a gathering at the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, 24 N. Ninth St.

“This is, I feel, a major milestone for the community of Fort Dodge and the citizens here,” he added.

Fort Dodge has already received $50,000 from the competition, which is sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel.

The city did not win any additional money by advancing to the semifinal round. However, by advancing the city is now in position to become one of eight communities that will recieve $100,000.

Next year, the top prize winners will be named. The top community will receive $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for the third place town.

“It’s really exciting,” Mayor Matt Bemrich said. “I know our city staff, the Growth Alliance, worked very, very hard to get us to this point.”

The $50,000 was spent to develop a plan for improving the neighborhood now called the Northwest River District.

Bemrich said the advancement to the semifinal round shows the value of such planning. The planning, he said, is “really showing validity when we have a national competition like this looking at how we organize ourselves and how we plan for our future.”

Any additional competition winnings will be spent in the Northwest River District. Bemrich said the area will remain a high priority. He has said in the past that improvements there will go forward, although probably at a slower rate, even if the city doesn’t win any more money in the competition.

The city entered the competition in late 2014.

“After we issued the challenge, what happened in this community was truly inspiring,” Hinz said. “This community came together from across public, private and nonprofit sectors to collaborate and develop a path forward for the community. We united behind a vision for an even better Fort Dodge, and I’m here to tell you today the hard work has paid off.”

On April 29, 2015, Fort Dodge was declared one of 50 quarter finalists in the competition and was awarded the $50,000.

Hinz said the next step is to send three representatives to an America’s Best Communities summit April 26-27 in Durham, North Carolina. There, the Northwest River District plan will be presented to a panel of judges.