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Posted 1/04/12 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

We all know that Watford City is a great place to live and to raise a family. As a small community, the city has worked for over a decade to build the facilities and to create a wholesome living environment for families. And all of that hard work and dedication has finally been recognized.
On Nov. 15, 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek released a ranking of the “Best Places to Raise Your Kids in 2012.” Of the 4,149 cities evaluated from all around the country, Watford City rose to the top and was named the “Best Place in North Dakota to raise kids in 2012.”
Obviously, Watford City had a lot of competition from other cities in North Dakota for this honor. But when all of the factors, such as the level of crime, economy, ethnic diversity, as well as our community’s educational system, recreational opportunities, and the quality of life that is afforded here, Watford City was the hands-down winner.
It is sometimes easy to take for granted, or just forget to appreciate, all that Watford City has to offer to the people who call this community their home. But when you consider the work and dedication that the city and county leaders undertook in revitalizing Watford City over the past several years, it may be a little easier to see why Watford City would be so recognized.
The list of improvements that has been made to Watford City is really quite staggering.
On the recreational front within the city limits, we have the McKenzie County Multi-Purpose Building, with its indoor hockey and rodeo arena, the McKenzie County Veterans Memorial Building, with its basketball and racquetball courts, the Wild West Water Park, the Long X Visitor Center, a new American Legion Baseball Field, the Wild West Children’s Playground, the Watford City Fishing Pond, and the Watford City Golf Course. And that says nothing of the recreational opportunities that are associated with all of the other city parks, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the National Grasslands or on Lake Sakakawea.
 And then there are the improvements that the City of Watford City have made, and continue to make, to improve the community such as the new Main Street, as well as the expansion of the city’s water and sewer to develop new residential and commercial areas within the city limits.
The Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of Watford City as the “Best Place in North Dakota to raise kids in 2012” is a great honor for our community.
For those of us who call Watford City home, whether we are longtime or new residents, we already knew that Watford City was a great place to raise our children. But it’s still pretty darn nice to have someone from the outside say it publicly.
For this honor, I give a “tip of my hat” to the people of Watford City for doing everything that it has taken to make this community a very special place to live.