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Hope everyone is having a great start to their spring! The newsletter this month contains numerous articles from the Vision West ND Consortium, Faces of the Consortium and other announcements.

Federal Partner Visit - June 13th

Please join the Vision West ND consortium June 13, 2016 in Minot. The six federal partners will be joining the consortium to hear about Vision West ND's planning and implemention progress. Partners include: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development (USDA-RD), Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Transporation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Hope to see everyone there!
Taking a new look at how your organization transfers knowledge!

Many organizations, agencies, and public offices are at risk of losing invaluable knowledge and experience as the baby boom generation of public leaders approaches retirement. Likewise, a lack of understanding of differences in work and information styles between generations can contribute to undervalued ideas and innovation from younger leaders.

This workshop is designed specifically for public and civic servants – elected and employed – but will benefit other organizations and agencies as well. The workshop is scheduled for June 14 at the Sleep Inn in Minot.

Please set aside time for this important workshop and invite others from your agency or county. We hope you invite Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer elected and employed personnel and those interested in serving. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

A block of rooms is reserved at the Sleep Inn in Minot under “Vision West ND.” Rooms under this block are $79.95 + taxes. Call 701.837.4100 before June 3 to reserve under the block.

Please register for the workshop no later than June 7 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/use-it-or-lose-it-successing-planning-for-public-service-tickets-25108093985 or click onto the link at the bottom of the attached invitation. Registration fees may be paid at the door with check or purchase order, or checks may be sent in advance to:

Vision West ND
c/o DLN Consulting, Inc.
2493 4th Avenue West, Suite G
Dickinson, ND 58601

Registration Costs:
$0 – Vision West ND Consortium Members
$35 – Vision West ND Associate Members, and invited Consortium and Associate Member agency guests
$55 – 1st Non-Member, $35 each additional attendee from same organization/agency/city/county

North Dakota's Primary Election Day is June 14. If you plan on attending the workshop, please complete an absentee ballot.

Face of the Consortium - Burke County

Burke County
Member Type:
Voting Member
Janet Cron
Position: Planning & Zoning Board Member

Burke County is located in northwest North Dakota. The county is bordered by Canada, Divide, Williams, Mountrial, Ward and Renville counties. The county seat is located in Bowbells and the other incorporated communities include Lignite, Columbus, Powers Lake, Portal and Flaxton. Burke County has two main economic drivers: agriculture and the oil and gas industry. Other notable county features include three rail systems: includes Burlington Northern(BNSF), Canadian Pacific(CP Railroad) and Missouri Valley. Burke County, being located on the border, has 24 hour ports-of-entry at Portal and Northgate, both located off Highway 5.

Tell us about you: (Professional) Janet is a recent retiree of the Burke County Director of Tax Equalization Department where she served for 38 years. Janet was a dedicated employee serving throughout the county. She thrived being out among the community as she is great with all people. Janet continues to be an active member of the community by serving on the Burke County Planning and Zoning Committee and volunteering. She currently serves on the board of directors for Bike the Border which is a three day cycling event held every year during the third week of June. This year Kenmare will be the host city in June, with three different routes for participants. Janet recently has enjoyed assisting the Portal Ambulance District with clerical work that support their ongoing efforts.

Tell us about you: (Personal) Janet was born and raised in Plentywood, Montana. She and her family resided on a dairy farm west of Plentywood. She graduated from Concordia College and started her career at the First National Bank (Dacotah Bank) in Bowbells. It was in the fall of 1977 that Janet became an employee of Burke County. Janet married Barney in 1964 (dec.2008) and raised their son James. James is a down hole geological engineer based in Rheinfelden, Switzerland with his wife and two sons. Janet enjoys taking trips to Switzerland to see her grandsons Hunter and Finn. Janet also has three-step children Gary; Geri and Sandee and enjoys their eight children.
Since retiring in December, Janet and a long time friend drove over 7,000 miles this past winter enjoying the sights of the southeast United States for a couple months. Janet said they enjoyed missing winter in North Dakota.

Involvement with Vision West ND:
"Vision West ND got my attention when it organized and found specific problem areas in the 19 county area…one was the lack of planning and zoning skills. VW immediately pulled together a top notch crew that published a manual and held training for the 19 counties and anyone else that needed their expertise. It was so pertinent. I volunteered to represent Burke County on the committee and have done so since. I was able to attend the HUD convening in Washington, DC where we reported to the HUD folks on the projects VW had accomplished using their funding to get us started. Needless to say, we caught a lot of attention since we were in the Bakken. We also attended a gathering in Billings, Montana to expand on information and were able to meet and share information with HUD, USDA , USDOT, etc. officials that were in attendance, along with breakout sessions provided by them. I serve on the transportation committee….I am an advocate of “sharing the roadways” and I can see the necessity for ride able shoulders for our cyclists and walkers out there. I serve on a recently formed committee that is helping our legislature discover the need for an Industrial Appraiser for North Dakota and commit to having the manual used by the local offices revised and updated." ~Janet Cron

Favorite moment or moments at the VWND Consortium Meeting or past meeting? "
Everyone on the VWND committee knows how vocal I can be, and it has been wonderful to provide my county’s input as our 19 counties weather the Bakken storm. I appreciate our diversity and bask in the big and little good that has come from the organization."

"VWND has become a recognized strength and a voice for western North Dakota. I am thankful for the coordination offered by DLN Consulting and a very capable chairperson and committee chairs."

Visit the Burke County website at, www.burkecountynd.com.

North Dakota Counties with the Most Favorable Cost of Living

Click the image to the left to see where your county ranks!

Face of the Consortium - Epic Engineering, Inc.

Member: Epic Engineering, Inc.
Member Type: Associate Member
Representative: Ray Pacheco
Position: Project Manager/ Urban Planner

Epic Engineering is a 100+ member strong, full-service architecture and civil engineering firm. Established in 1997, the company has North Dakota office locations in Killdeer, Watford City, and Williston, as well as several locations in Utah: Heber City, Provo, West Valley City, and Vernal. Epic was founded to provide professional engineering services on civil engineering projects for municipal clientele. Epic has since expanded its capabilities with a team of professionals that can provide civil, structural, architectural, geotechnical, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and environmental engineering. Epic also offer master planning, feasibility studies, funding acquisition, public involvement services, permitting services, document preparation, survey services, construction management, inspection, laboratory analysis, and materials testing.

Tell us about you: (Professional) Ray graduated from the University of Utah in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning. He started his career in Georgia where, after one year of training, he was named as the Planning Director. He served in that position for four years. Ray lived and worked in Georgia for eight years where he worked as a consultant and then as the Planning Director for two more communities. Ray then moved to Wyoming where he continued working for 6½ years as the Planning Director for two different counties. In his 20 years in land planning, Ray has worked mainly on the public side in some of the fastest growing communities in the nation. He has worked with state agencies in Georgia to create planning policy. He has written grants successfully to obtain approximately $2 million for communities. Ray feels that the best part of planning is getting to know people in the communities where he has worked and establishing long-term relationships. He has worked for Epic Engineering for 1½ years as a Planner/Project Manager. His main focus is to assist local communities with their planning and engineering needs through current and long-range planning.

Tell us about you: (Personal) Ray has been married for 24 years. He and his wife live in Williston where his wife is an elementary school teacher. Ray and his wife have four children, two currently in college and two in high school. Ray and his family spend most of their time traveling for sporting events to watch their sons.

Involvement with Vision West ND:
Ray first got involved with Vision West ND when he was the Planning Director for Williams County. He was interested in becoming a part of this endeavor because he quickly learned that many communities in North Dakota did not recognize planning as a significant component of the stability of their communities, including the state of North Dakota. The states of Georgia and Wyoming have strong funding and policy programs as well as agencies that drive planning and require consistency in planning, and Ray was concerned that he didn't see that same level of consistency in North Dakota. Ray hopes he can be helpful to Vision West ND by providing insight into how other states manage land use planning.

Ray has been involved with Vision West ND since 2013 in various efforts. He anticipates becoming more involved in the promotion of planning legislation. Ray also hopes to assist communities who are struggling with the logistics of planning and zoning by sharing his experience and knowledge with them.

Favorite moment at the VWND Consortium Meetings?
"I really enjoy networking and sharing experiences with others at the Vision West meetings." ~Ray

Visit the Epic Engineering, Inc. website at, epiceng.net.

In the next newsletter look for a new segment entitled, "Partner Spotlight" where we will highlight many of our dedicated partners.
May 19, 2016 - VWND Consortium Meeting - Conference Call
June 13, 2016 - VWND Consortium Meeting - Minot
June 14, 2016 - Use It or Lose It! Workshop - Minot
For more information on announcements visit the VWND website.
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