Founded in 1881 as the center for western expansion of the iron rail, the City of Mandan soon became known as the place “Where the West Begins.” This slogan embodies the city’s evolution as a village for the Mandan tribe, then a cavalry fort, a railroad town and ranching and farming hub, and now one of North Dakota’s fastest-growing communities.
Mandan’s Main Street and rich history provide a family-friendly hometown atmosphere, while its location in the Bismarck metro area offers a wide variety of economic opportunities and entertainment amenities. Events including Rodeo Days and Art in the Park, and nearby state parks, skiing, auto racing, museums, and sports facilities provide a range of activities for both residents and visitors. With continued growth and revitalization, Mandan promises to further its development into a community-of-choice.
Mandan Tomorrow, a strategic visioning process undertaken for the City of Mandan, prioritizes four areas of focus:
- Leadership, pride and image
- Economic opportunity and prosperity
- Quality places and destinations
- Education and workforce.
The Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce is spearheading the strategic vision planning process, with the City of Mandan, the Mandan Public School District, and the Mandan Park District joining the effort.
A summary of 2010 achievements was included in a community progress report mailed to Mandan businesses and residents. The report is posted at www.cityofmandan.com.
Following is an outline of 2011 plans:
Leadership, Pride and Image
• Continue community marketing under a consistent theme to improve internal and external image.
• Focus a component of the overall marketing strategy on capturing I-94 traffic.
• Strengthen partnerships with government, business and civic entities to market and improve Mandan citizens’ impression of and satisfaction with the community.
• Provide real estate agents information to promote Mandan’s strengths.
• Host a candidate information forum to encourage citizen interest in serving in local government.
• Engage Leadership Bismarck-Mandan, its alumni network, and other key groups in building a better Mandan.
• Ensure voting-age adults are aware of candidate choices for local boards and their views on pressing issues.
• Foster communication with and among Mandan businesses to improve cohesiveness and pursuit of common goals.
• Explore a property maintenance ordinance.
Economic Opportunity and Prosperity
• Explore, initiate and launch the investment group to leverage community development and/or retail and restaurant projects.
• Promote use of existing incentive tools and explore new programs.
• Host succession planning seminar for businesses.
• Target John Iverson building for redevelopment to secure needed investment and commercial occupants or buyers.
Quality Places and Destinations
• Continue to assist with enhancement and further development of farmers’ market.
• Assist with establishing a temporary outdoor movie theater.
• Assist with establishing a sledding hill.
• Continue to gauge interest in an event or expo center.
• Explore possibilities for adding amenities at Ft. Lincoln State Park.
Education and Workforce
• Increase participation by elementary students at all elementary schools in supplemental educational services such as after school and summer instruction to improve math and reading competencies.
• Increase high school student enrollment in dual credit courses.
• Improve support for Mandan schools by celebrating student academic achievement as a community.
• Increase the number of business internships for students.
• Support higher education initiatives that provide access and opportunities for Mandan residents.
• Explore feasibility of Train ND providing services for Mandan businesses.
• Provide students with info on local and state career opportunities.
• Keep abreast of federal funding issues and capitalize on competitive grant opportunities.
Anyone interested in serving on a Mandan Tomorrow subcommittee is encouraged to contact the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber, phone 223-5660. For more information about the Mandan Tomorrow Plan, visit www.mandantomorrow.com.