Gov. Doug Burgum held one of his “Main Street” initiative meetings in Mandan Wednesday.
"I think Mandan is actually a poster child for it (Main Street)," said Mandan Mayor Tim Helbling. "We have a number of renaissance zone projects, storefront improvement projects, and other things some people would like to eliminate. If we wouldn't have had those opportunities, we wouldn't be in the growth pattern we're in today."
Helbling said those efforts are helping to make Mandan an attractive city. And he said that’s reflected in the city’s population growth.
"I look back 15 years ago, and may attitude and outlook for Mandan was actually pretty bleak," Helbling said. "There were a lot of empty storefronts, a lot of dirt, debris, trash, and people's attitudes weren't very positive."
Helbling said today, you will see a "positive energy" in Mandan.
"People want to move into Mandan, rather than move out," Helbling said.
Mandan Business Development director Ellen Huber said you can see that in the number of new businesses and new restaurants that have opened in the city.
"We didn't want to be a bedroom community for Bismarck," Huber said. "We aspire to be much more than that."
Huber said the city is working to improve amenities for residents. She said that will help attract workforce.