Housing investments are saving small towns, helping businesses grow

25 Feb 2021

This paid piece is sponsored by SDN Communications.

Building seven new houses is helping turn around a population decline in Mount Vernon.

Located about 15 miles from Mitchell, the community is perhaps best known as the hometown of former NFL linebacker Chad Greenway. But that reputation hasn’t been enough to keep the population from declining, and a lack of housing kept it from growing. Community members worried they were facing school closure, losing businesses and even more residents.

So they took action and coordinated a campaign to bring home alumni, recruit invested volunteers and gain financial assistance from the Rural Electric Economic Development, or REED, Fund.

“Mount Vernon has its own school district, and we’re really proud of it. There are great students and a great administration. But we were getting smaller and smaller and definitely wanted to do something to boost our enrollment,” said Dave Anderson, president of the Mount Vernon Economic Development Group. “We’re well aware that if a school closes, it’s hard on a community, and that was kind of the catalyst for all this.”

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