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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 05, 2013, 06:59 PM

National magazine ranks Milnor among most attractive small towns

Milnor, ND (WDAY TV) - You pick up the New York Times or any national magazine and you will likely find some story about North Dakota and the Bakken. Today, however, the attention shifts from the oil fields to the grasslands of Milnor, North Dakota.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Milnor, ND (WDAY TV) - You pick up the New York Times or any national magazine and you will likely find some story about North Dakota and the Bakken. Today, however, the attention shifts from the oil fields to the grasslands of Milnor, North Dakota.

MSN-Money is honoring Milnor for its efforts to attract new families and business to town. The national attention is just what the small town needed, as it plans for the future. Milnor is being recognized for offering incentive to families who want to move to town or businesses that want to start up on main street.

It is paying off. Housing developments are getting full. There are new merchants in town and new faces in school hallways.

Carol Peterson – Milnor Economic Development: “We have been blessed. This is a wonderful part of the state with a lot of activity. The farming community is active, Bobcat is close and so we have a lot of people living in the area.”

With the Bobcat plant so close to Milnor, the town is using an economic development plan to attract workers and other new families to town. The details of the incentives are what bring people in - free utilities, money for sewer and water hook-ups, and some summer fun.

The MSN report focused on what small towns across America will do to bring in new blood. In Milnor, a plan to attract new residents caught MSN's eye.

When John Sakry looked for a new home for his plumbing business, he would have been foolish to ignore Milnor's offer; tax breaks and incentives not only for his business, but for his new home. Then there is free garbage, sewer and water for two years, part of a welcome wagon type plan that Milnor is touting right now.

John Sakry – Sakry Plumbing-Milnor: “I dont' know that we would have been able to do it without incentives. We were assisted by the bank across the street for low interest loans to make it affordable for us, at least until we found out that we weren’t going to have to ice fish to feed the family.”

It gets better. Right now they are climate challenged, but the city is offering free passes to the golf course, and city swimming pool and activity passes at the school. The parents of Molly, Mickey and Mark Noy-many-vaughn recently moved here. Full time work at Bobcat, for the kids it means a small, cozy school, memories of championship teams and a 2013 senior class of just 18.

What will a small town in North Dakota do to survive? Just about anything.

Milnor joins Niagara Falls, New York and Chattanooga, Tennessee in the MSN Money honors. For more on the town's efforts, click on our Easy Link tab.

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