Thanks to good work by many, Fargo’s again recognized as the top performing small city by the Milken Institute for the second year in a row. It’s fun to see and as good as it is, working together, the best is yet to come.
Here’s the article in the Milken Institutes report:
- “Fargo, ND-MN, retained its No. 1 position among small metros for a second year. Its well-diversified economy with strength in finance, insurance, health care, and higher education helped offset declines in shale-oil exploration.”
Small Cities 2015
Overall Rank: 1 Population: 228,291
Fargo, North Dakota-Minnesota, returned to No. 1 in our index of best-performing small cities, holding the top spot for the second year in a row. While more recent job growth tapered off in the metro, Fargo outpaced the national average in both job and income gains, most notably during the five years ending in 2014. The metro, which thrived during North Dakota’s decade-long oil boom, has relied on its diverse industry mix to sustain growth in the region.
Metro’s Performance in Each Index Component
|5-yr Job Growth1||14||12||8||5||4||8||108.39|
|1-yr Job Growth2||11||41||18||8||28||20||101.69|
|5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth3||16||15||14||9||6||5||108.39|
|1-yr Wages & Salaries Growth4||14||29||36||10||10||27||102.03|
|Short-Term Job Growth5||36||66||10||29||14||67||9977.00%|
|5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth6||31||43||52||82||46||26||109.58|
|1-yr Relative HT GDP Growth7||42||83||44||18||78||52||102.57|
|High-Tech GDP LQ8||41||48||54||59||52||50||0.71|
|# of HT GDP LQs Over 19||56||42||71||93||40||26||4.0|
2014-2015 Growth Comparison (by score)
201420155-yr Job Growth(2009-2014)1-yr Job Growth(2013-2014)5-yr Wages &Salaries Growth(2008-2013)1-yr Wages &Salaries Growth(2012-2013)5-yr Relative HTGDP Growth(2009-2014)1-yr Relative HTGDP Growth(2013-2014)95105115125135Component
|5-yr Job Growth (2009-2014)||109.54||108.39|
|1-yr Job Growth (2013-2014)||102.6||101.69|
|5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (2008-2013)||129.27||116.48|
|1-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (2012-2013)||108.09||102.03|
|5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (2009-2014)||102.14||109.58|
|1-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (2013-2014)||101.64||102.57|
~ End article ~
That’s good stuff, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We’re working with engaged citizens implementing key initiatives identified in Fargo 2030 and much of what we learned on last years bus tours, and guest presentations by parking guru Dennis Burns, Placemakers Hazel Borys, Winnipeg Forks Paul Jordan, CentreVentures Angela Mathieson, Strong Towns Charles Marohn and more.
Just in the past year:
- Fargo created our Arts Commission to help integrate art into our daily lives with people oriented design and infrastructure
- Great Rides Bikeshare smashed national records for use per bikes per day
- The Fargo Project: World Garden is winning national attention as example of art adding resiliency
- Midcontinent Communitications is deploying high speed fiber systems to add to our choices for internet providers
- Fast, fun, and free Link FM is connecting our downtowns with a 15 minute continous loop
- Fargo installed North Dakota’s first protected bike lane on the first phase of NP Ave and is now ranked 28th best biking community in the country
Thanks to all of you that joined us on one or both of our Tours of Art and Parking last year. Those trips have been paying off and I want to again thank Charley Johnson and the CVB for generously sponsoring the transportation on those learning trips.
Had a great night for improving parking management at the Fargo Commission meeting Monday 12- 9-15.
We passed the bonding for a quality mixed use parking structure 4 – 1. We locked in on a good rate of 3.42% that saves about $600k on financing costs and we have a funding model that’s solid. The goal is to add value by featuring people with the best views and active sidewalks while accommodating cars with a complimentary scale and design.
We also approved the concepts for transitioning parking management to a more user friendly parking ambassador system with Interstate Parking managing on and off street downtown parking.
Also approved directing CA to amend parking fines to a graduated rate structure that is user friendly so folks can learn the system with less penalty, but tougher on the folks that choose to park beyond time limits in high demand spots instead of walking a few blocks or using off street options.