This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
Simplified: As Worthing looks to grow, city leaders are looking to residents for input on what to prioritize. Here's a look at what's come out of recent community meetings.
Why it matters
- Worthing's partnership with the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance is fueling renewed efforts toward attracting new businesses to town, including getting the city's economic development board up and running again, Mayor Crystal Jacobson said.
- As they seek out new businesses, Jacobson said she wants to know the community's thoughts and preferences.
- It's also important to have community support for any needed infrastructure improvements in the city that would pave the way for more development.
"I think that's a huge thing in this town – people aren't afraid to tell anybody what they want or what we need," Jacobson said. "It's always been an open community."
Tell me more about the community meetings
Worthing has had two community engagement sessions in the last few months in an effort to better understand what the residents of Worthing want to see in their town.
SMGA Economic Development Specialist Lisa Zens said meeting attendees were asked four basic questions:
- What should economic development be working on?
- What can be done to make Worthing stronger?
- What are Worthing community strengths?
- What are Worthing's weaknesses?
"Worthing is a growing community, and it's important to have these conversations to understand what we can do as an economic development group to ensure the continued growth and support the community," Zens said.
What types of things do Worthing residents want to see?
Infrastructure was a big one, Jacobson said.
- The town needs updated sewer and water pipes in the old part of town, she added, and residents know that work has to happen.
On the business side, folks want to see more conveniences like a grocery store and other amenities.
- They also expressed interest in more gathering places for the community, as well as more space for activities for children.
In addition, the community shared a desire to see more growth in Worthing's industrial park.
"We have all of this land out there that we can grow, and we want to see it grow," Jacobson said.
What happens next?
Worthing leaders are taking what they've learned from recent community input sessions and bringing that to conversations moving forward with the economic development board.
City leaders are also working with SMGA to look at ways to attract more businesses both to town and to the industrial park.