The economic growth of Bismarck and Mandan brings with it plenty of challenges. Mandan is experiencing its second highest year of commercial development on record. The mayors of both communities touched on the ups and downs at the annual State of the Cities Address Tuesday morning.
Growth sometimes isn't pretty and the mayors of both Bismarck and Mandan accept that, but they are also optimistic about the upside to expansion.
"We want to make a place where people want to come and live. We want to include amenities -- the best amenities. Our parks, our schools and our cities. Just like we want to create the best areas where people want to work, we want to create the best towns where employees want to live," said Mandan Mayor Arlyn Van Beek.
Updates on the progress of everything from projects like the Five South Development and the Growth Management Plan to the Housing Demand Analysis were the main focus of the agenda. This housing study found that Bismarck would need an additional 9,000 units and Mandan would need nearly 4,000 living spaces to keep up with population needs.
"Our communities are becoming far more diverse. So there are a lot of people that are here that aren't from here, but we are all in the same boat together," said Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary.
The goal is to make Bismarck and Mandan destination cities. Thanks to completion of projects like the Universal Playground and renovation of the Raging Rivers Water Park, Bismarck and Mandan are well on their way to becoming diverse destination cities.
Future projects were also discussed including Memorial Highway reconstruction and a luxury condo development along the river in Mandan.