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Crookston Plans for Growth - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Crookston Plans for Growth

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   The "In Motion" planning group has now laid out a blue print for major growth in one northern valley town.

   Crookston officials now have a plan in place for the remainder of the decade that includes, creating 500 new jobs, revitalizing downtown and building more affordable housing.

Shannon Stassen, Crookston Chamber: "So you don't have a number of different groups doing similar projects… going off in different directions. We're trying to align people, pool resources and get folks on the same page."

  They already have a jump start on the job creation part of their initiative.  Every University of Minnesota Crookston graduate will now have to complete an internship with an area business. It's hoped that will spur more young people to stay here… or even create new businesses with their high tech skills, like computer programming.

 Tom Jorgens, Crookston "In Motion": We're also going to build up the entrepreneurial side of things. The University actually has some things going with that and we want to expand that further."

   Details on creating incentives for revitalizing downtown and building more housing for young people and seniors are still being planned.  But, planners say the overall goal is to build an attractive community with affordable housing for everyone, whether they work here or not.

 Craig Hoiseth, CrookstonHousing: "The term bedroom community used to be kind of taboo. But, we've recognized that it's not that at all."

   Hoiseth says since Crookston is a short commute to other job markets like Grand Forks, it means their long range plan of creating more affordable housing should only help their overall plan to grow Crookston.

   Grand Forks is also working on an initiative for their City called, "The Grand Forks Promise".

   Spokesperson Kevin Deans says the idea is to create a Community that's attractive to young people to keep them in Grand Forks.

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