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Old 05-01-2007, 12:24 AM
 
Location: IN
22,231 posts, read 38,792,275 times
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Kansas, like many other states in the Great Plains has seen an out-migration of people from rural areas to urban areas. This has been going on for almost 100 years in some counties. In fact, Kansas has quite a few ghost towns from a distant past when larger numbers of people lived in small towns instead of left them. Another problem is that large numbers of younger people have been leaving the rural areas in search of employment in larger urban areas. Many younger people have been leaving this state when they receive their College degree in search of high paying jobs.
Many counties in Kansas have lost close to 10% of their population in the last 5 years alone mainly due to out-migration. A lot of these counties are now qualified as "frontier counties" because their are fewer than 6 people per square mile. I suggest that if individual counties want to get stronger than more consolidation has to take place. A possibility would be to combine counties and form several larger counties, similar to what Nebraska has. Consolidation will be the key word in the coming years for Kansas and other Great Plains states as the rural populations lose ever larger numbers of people and the total populations become more centralized in the larger and smaller metro areas.
What have been your experiences with rural decline, and how can consolidation and possibly increased rural economic development help these rural areas?
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:14 PM
 
64 posts, read 304,013 times
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I live in West Virginia where we have a similar brain drain. I have felt for years that we could do ourselves a big favor by combining our 55 counties into maybe 30 or so and eliminate redundant governments. I think you make a very good point.
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:04 PM
 
Location: IN
22,231 posts, read 38,792,275 times
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Post Northwest Kansas counties should consolidate!

The counties in northwest Kansas should consolidate into a much larger county similar to what Nebraska has in its isolated rural areas. By consolidating the counties into one big county it would save money overall. The counties that should be consolidated into a larger county should be Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Sheridan, Thomas, Graham, Trego, Logan, Gove, Sherman, and Wallace. It just makes economic sense considering the population declines are quite large and all younger people are leaving. One county seat for all of these combined counties could also spur economic development by concentrating more people into a slightly larger regional center town. Consolidation of schools in individual rural counties would not happen as much if their was one bigger county with more jobs and businesses centered around the regional center. The only drawback would be longer driving distances for those who live in the far flung rural areas. However, very few people live in the isolated rural areas anymore either.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:36 PM
 
99 posts, read 286,849 times
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Water
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
2,207 posts, read 2,196,489 times
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I am a degreed professional who just moved from Pensacola and Orlando, FL to Hutchinson, KS for work, but from your second post it looks like maybe you're not concerned with Reno County... ? I couldn't be more happy to be here and I love Hutch so far. It reminds me of my own hometown in the Sierra Nevadas in California... Windy as hell, and friendly people!
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,661,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
The counties in northwest Kansas should consolidate into a much larger county similar to what Nebraska has in its isolated rural areas.
Something to consider is that Nebraska didn't consolidate those big counties (I assume you mean Cherry, Sheridan, Sioux, etc.) Rather they started out as enormous counties and subdivided as the population grew.
Cherry has yet to hit the need to subdivide.

Sioux, Sheridan, Dawes, and Box Butte, for example, used to just be one big Sioux County. Consolidating would be a bigger headache than subdividing, I think...


Quote:
One county seat for all of these combined counties could also spur economic development by concentrating more people into a slightly larger regional center town. Consolidation of schools in individual rural counties would not happen as much if their was one bigger county with more jobs and businesses centered around the regional center. The only drawback would be longer driving distances for those who live in the far flung rural areas. However, very few people live in the isolated rural areas anymore either.
We already have long driving distances. lol People are used to it. And really, how often does one need to do business at the courthouse anyway?

But I doubt that's how it would work, actually.
Much like the consolidation of schools, while the centralized school's community does better, the communities that no longer have a school drain quickly.

I think consolidation probably WILL happen. (To what degree is anyone's guess)
But I don't think it's going to somehow revitalize the area.

~Erin
in rural Cheyenne county
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:35 PM
 
Location: out west somewhere
166 posts, read 267,710 times
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Talking Leave Sherman co out of your little fantasy world

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
The counties in northwest Kansas should consolidate into a much larger county similar to what Nebraska has in its isolated rural areas. By consolidating the counties into one big county it would save money overall. The counties that should be consolidated into a larger county should be Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Sheridan, Thomas, Graham, Trego, Logan, Gove, Sherman, and Wallace. It just makes economic sense considering the population declines are quite large and all younger people are leaving. One county seat for all of these combined counties could also spur economic development by concentrating more people into a slightly larger regional center town. Consolidation of schools in individual rural counties would not happen as much if their was one bigger county with more jobs and businesses centered around the regional center. The only drawback would be longer driving distances for those who live in the far flung rural areas. However, very few people live in the isolated rural areas anymore either.
No,it's not perfect--what place is anymore-if it ever was?You say the young people are all leaving-as a matter of fact some leave and come back and some never leave in the first place---what do consider "very few people"?. Our hospital just got a dialysis unit for kidney patients,we now have the ethanol plant taking off and people are buying houses here again-Northwest Tech also brings in students who boost the economy and some of them like it out here and decide to stay.My mortgage broker told me houses here are going for a PREMIUM right now---so do your homework like I do before you post about Kansas,especially Northwest Kansas which you seem to have some sort of strange ugly hatred and FIXATION with. and don't know very much about.

Last edited by bev osborn; 08-10-2013 at 07:41 PM.. Reason: left out sentence
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,661,817 times
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Ummm...
There is more to NW KS than just Goodland and Colby. Most of our communities are experience out-migration, bev. Them's just facts.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:48 PM
 
Location: IN
22,231 posts, read 38,792,275 times
Reputation: 14809
Quote:
Originally Posted by bev osborn View Post
No,it's not perfect--what place is anymore-if it ever was?You say the young people are all leaving-as a matter of fact some leave and come back and some never leave in the first place---what do consider "very few people"?. Our hospital just got a dialysis unit for kidney patients,we now have the ethanol plant taking off and people are buying houses here again-Northwest Tech also brings in students who boost the economy and some of them like it out here and decide to stay.My mortgage broker told me houses here are going for a PREMIUM right now---so do your homework like I do before you post about Kansas,especially Northwest Kansas which you seem to have some sort of strange ugly hatred and FIXATION with. and don't know very much about.
Please STOP digging up ancient threads for no reason. Date and time stamps are clearly marked at the top of each post.

Last edited by GraniteStater; 08-11-2013 at 12:48 AM..
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,661,817 times
Reputation: 2433
She might not realize they're ancient.
If something comes across the "Similar Threads" links, below, a new member won't necessarily see the dates and realize how old the topic actually is.
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