Opinion

Got a Minute: The future is forever

Congratulations to Shannon Duerr of the Cavalier County Job Development Authority on her recent promotion to executive director of the organization.

Posted on 10/12/13

By Lee Coleman

Duerr has spent seven years under the watchful eye of Carol Goodman and according to Goodman, Duerr is ready to accept the responsibilities of the position.

That is good news because as Langdon and the county continue to move into the future, Duerr has to be ready.

And she is.

Goodman will step into a new role as the director of primary sector management. Duerr will focus on economic development.

But under the vast umbrella of responsibilities that is the JDA, housing is on the forefront of activity.

The need for housing, especially rental, is overwhelming.

In a Sept., 2012 North Dakota statewide housing needs assessment study, Cavalier County ranked third in the lowest vacancy rate with only 1.1 percent of housing available for rent with a median rent rate of $376.

Only Slope and McKenzie were lower with zero percent available.

As a battered and bruised housing hunter over the last two months, I can tell you first hand there is a big problem here.

Even with some houses for sale. Most of those I visited were in need of upgrades and/or repairs. Especially in basement areas.

Obviously, there are viable reasons for the lack of housing. However, the question has to be asked.

What about the future?

According to Duerr, growth in population in the county over the last 10 years has come from natives in the age range of 20 years to 34 years returning home to work and live out their lives at home.

Duerr suggested short commutes and a lower cost of living may be a factor in the resurgence.

Both good points but if Langdon and the county wants to continue growing, Duerr said new housing has to be found.

This is not a new problem but one that must be dealt with in short order to solidify the continued economic development of Langdon and the county.

Duerr and Goodman have developed a strategic plan to address this and other issues.

Why?

The future is forever.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at republicannews@countrymedia.net.