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Assessment team will work with community to map area's future

“Pioneering Our Future” is the theme for the Philip area and Haakon County Community Assessment to be held on October 12-14, 2004.

“The homesteaders and ranchers who settled in this area took charge of their lives,” says Glenn Parsons, President of the Philip Chamber of Commerce.

“They didn’t just let things happen to them, but set about to improve their lives by opportunities available to them. They organized into communities that cooperated in order to improve their lives. The same needs to be true for us today. We need to assess ourselves as a community, gather together, and take charge of our future – not just let outside economic forces dictate to us what happens in the Philip area and in Haakon County,” said Parsons.

To further that purpose, the Philip Chamber of Commerce has invited the S.D. Rural Development Council to hold assessment meetings in Philip. These meetings will help unify the community and provide a process through which every person can voice their concerns regarding the community’s future. The information gathered will be used to address a wide range of concerns.

The assessment will identify the community’s highest priorities, and where to start for further economic development and planning strategies. The resulting report can be used with grant applications as proof of planning, and contributions can be used to leverage grant applications. It offers long-term support and will assist the community in identifying and utilizing volunteers to accomplish the established goals.

The S.D. Rural Development Council Assessment team is made up of highly qualified business leaders, government staff, and individuals representing private organizations, all who donate time and experience to help our community better plan our future.

What you have to say is important to the area’s future. You will have your chance to express your ideas at the Community Assessment meetings on October 12-14. Each of you is urged to take part in one or as many sessions as you like. Most sessions will be held at the Bad River Senior Citizens Center, 115 S. Center Ave., in Philip. See box for specific meeting times and locations.

Community support from all sectors of our community life is essential for this to be a success. Some of the questions posed to the participants will be:

•What are the major concerns and challenges in our community?

•What are the major strengths and assets of the community?

•What projects would you like accomplished in our community over the next two, five, 10, and 20 years?

The meetings are free to the public. Ccontact Shirley Chin, coordinator, at 859-2645, or e-mail philipcc@gwtc.net for more information.