'Sell our city' Friday

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By Lou Elliott Jones

City Planner/Project Manager Josie Lodder is asking Williston residents to roll out the welcome mat for representatives of the Rural Economic Development Initiative when they visit the city for a meeting on Friday, March 17.

While the group will be meeting at Joyce Bullock Elementary School, Lodder said the group will be having lunch in the city and taking a tour and members of the working group can be identified by the green carnations they will be wearing for Sy. Patrick’s Day.

Lodder is inviting residents to speak to the group members about the town and their vision for it.

REDI, a program of the state Department of Economic Opportunity, helps bring together the efforts of various state agencies to help build infrastructure and the economy, among other initiatives.

It is also a part of the DEO’s Regional Rural Development Grant program which was established to encourage rural communities to leverage limited resources by utilizing regional economic development organizations to develop and implement long-term strategies that will help them attract new businesses, grow existing businesses, build rural leadership, improve infrastructure and create a strong workforce, according to its website. Among the actions that can be taken is to provide grants of $50,000 a year or $150,000.

The goal is to improve the economy and quality of life in the rural areas they serve.