We're all in this together - aren't we?
By now many of you have heard that the city of Park Rapids and Henrietta Township are exploring ways to work together to better manage growth and deliver services, particularly in those areas near the border of our two jurisdictions. This effort ...
By now many of you have heard that the city of Park Rapids and Henrietta Township are exploring ways to work together to better manage growth and deliver services, particularly in those areas near the border of our two jurisdictions. This effort was started as a result of the disagreements over the years about sewer and water, zoning and annexation. It seemed as though we were fighting the same battles over and over, with little progress made.
Finally, the town board and city council decided it was time to try a different approach. Instead of constantly fighting, could we somehow find solutions to our growth management and service delivery problems through a cooperative approach? And, an even more intriguing question: Might it be possible to find solutions that actually allowed each side to benefit?
For many, this seemed to be hard to even imagine. After all, cities and townships all over the state have been fighting these battles for so long that many people assume that "that's just the way it is."
But there is evidence that another approach can work. Other areas of the state have found ways for everyone to benefit. Several cities and townships throughout the state have discovered cooperative approaches that have worked. The question we asked ourselves is, why can't we do the same?
With this as background, the city and Henrietta Township have been working hard over the last several months to try to find a new path. The work has not been easy, and we are not done, but we feel good about our discussions and the relationships that have been built.
When those discussions get hard, we keep on track by reminding ourselves that we really are part of just one community. Township residents work, shop and get educated in the city, and city residents recreate in the rural area, have friends in the rural area and benefit from the economic activity generated by rural area residents. Our futures are tied together - shouldn't we try to find approaches that benefit everyone?
There are always some who are willing to let history get in the way of a better future, and there are others who appear to thrive on conflict. For our part, we are committed to a better future for the entire community, and are committed to work together to make that future happen.
We will provide the public with more information in the coming weeks on our ideas. We are confident we can come up with solutions that benefit the entire community.
PARK RAPIDS CITY/HENRIETTA TOWNSHIP
GROWTH MANAGEMENT TASK FORCE