The West Central Mountains have been very busy since the finalists announcement in April. We have already completed 3 of our 21 projects and the others are well underway. It has been an exciting time discussing the future of our area; communities have united and residents have stepped forward to help. We have captured the attention of our citizens and they are excited to join the movement.
The steering committee has partnered with the local newspaper to design a weekly update informing residents of progress and explaining how to get involved. “Quest for the Best” is the article caption and has been well received. This article will be ongoing for the next 40 weeks. With newspaper and radio as our only traditional media outlets, we have found that communicating as a region is our greatest challenge. To compensate, we have expanded our outreach by utilizing social media and hosting presentations for immediate interaction.
Housing is our largest obstacle to long-term job creation. The formation of the Housing Trust was our first priority in the ongoing commitment for future success. The board has been formed and is working feverishly to launch the first project. They are partnering with IHFA and Home Funds to allow for the purchase of older homes in the area that need renovating and will remain in the rental inventory.
Valley County Economic Development Council will hire its first Executive Director in July. The Idaho Department of Commerce has approached the Council and asked how they can help make this position successful, and have provided a partial grant for funding of the position. The local business community is stepping up and donating funding to help also. This position will be very instrumental in helping us complete our vision for the future.
All are working closely with our communities to complete our 21 strategies. Business blockers are being identified and solutions found. Some projects are even being expanded as our resources grow.
The West Central Mountains of Idaho is engaged and enthused for our future and is ready to lead the nation as America’s Best Community.