Whose Idea Is Bigger For Yankton?

Over 500 ideas, but only six seemed to fit the ‘Onward Yankton Committee's’ criteria.

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Over 500 ideas, but only six seemed to fit the ‘Onward Yankton Committee’s’ criteria.

Heidi Marsh, one of 12 members on the committee, says narrowing the large number of applicants down required a rubric.

“[The idea] has to be big. It has to be feasible and it has to be sustainable.”

Ideas came near and far, all trying to expand Yankton into the entertaining, economic powerhouse it once was.

Nights of hard decision making led to a split vote amongst the members on the final spot.

Larry Ness, another member, recalls saying why cut the idea out.

“Who are we going to arbitrarily throw out? We thought ‘Well why would we do that?’”  says Ness.

So, what are the final ideas?

One is a stronger partnership with Mount Marty College to keep students here post-graduation. Another is creating a stronger downtown by making Yankton the entrepreneurial capital of the Missouri River Valley. Another is to re-create the identity of the community by establishing better connections between the cities. 

Another economically driven idea is to create a signature river’s edge with shops and condos.

Or perhaps a strong entertainment district with an amphitheater carved into Chaulkstone Hill. 

Rounding out the six is making Yankton more children friendly. Instill programs that place high value on education.

So how will Yankton pick just one?

Marsh is hoping that the community can help in that process.

“It’s going to take a lot of community input. That’s why we’re having the presenters come to us,” she says.

Six final ideas… that must ultimately become one.