Miller Area Lunch

The second anniversary of the Miller Area Lunch was held on December 15 and it was well attended. We had a good lunch, interesting conversation, and discussed a topic titled “Working Together You Can Build It Yourself.” What is the Miller Area Lunch and why does OHDC host it?

The lunch is an opportunity for all of the boards and organizations in Miller, St. Lawrence, Ree Heights, and Hand County to get together and discuss upcoming projects, goals, and any other topic that has an impact on our area. We meet at a restaurant at 12 p.m., order lunch, and then discuss a topic related to community development.

Topics that we have discussed in the past are wide-ranging but include housing, making our area a good place for young people to live, sustaining our business community, developing our recreational opportunities, and strategic planning for organizations.

Everyone is invited to the Miller Area Lunch. It is important to have members of the various boards in attendance such as the county commission, city council, school board, community foundation, hospital board, OHDC board, C&C board, etc. However, it is just as important to have members of civic groups and interested individuals attend.

One of the more informative features of the lunch is when we go around the room and everyone gives an update on the projects that their organization is involved in. Not only does everyone learn what is going on in town but the information is reliable and straight from the source. Many times people realize that they can collaborate on a project or idea, which can save money and time.

We end the lunch at 1 p.m. so that everyone can get back to his or her workplace or business. That gives us enough time to have a good discussion while not wasting people’s time.

I would encourage you to attend the Miller Area Lunch or have a representative from your organization attend. The meeting is held on the third Wednesday of each month at 12 p.m. Please call OHDC at 853-3098 a couple of days beforehand to RSVP and to find out the location of the meeting.


Is the Census Important for Miller?

Paperwork and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to ignore it and hate to fill it out. The 2010 Census is different. It takes just 10 minutes to fill out and it only comes around once every 10 years. That is my kind of paperwork.

Thinking about the census brings up a couple of questions. Is the census important for Miller? Why is it important? Here are a few answers from the official census website:

  • The federal government uses population data to allocate funds in a number of areas including Title 1 grants to school districts, the WIC program, public transportation (think about the Miller Wheels and Meals), road rehabilitation and construction, and programs for the elderly.
  • Census data helps homeowners research property values, median income, and other demographic information about a particular community.
  • Corporations use population data to determine locations for commercial enterprises such as food stores, pharmacies, and other essential services.

The census really lays the groundwork for the next ten years. As a community, it will help us make decisions in government, education, health care, economic development, business planning and many other areas.

When the form comes out in April please take the time to fill it out and return it.

In 2000, Hand County only had a response rate of 70%. The average response rate for counties in SD was 74%. I bet we can do better than that this time around.

I’m really curious to see how the numbers will turn out for Miller and Hand County. Even though it is a little more paperwork to fill out, I’ll be filling out my census form and I hope you will too.

Miller High School Receives Silver Award

I’ve always known that the Miller High School was an excellent institution and that it was a place my kids would receive a good education. Like many people from small towns, I like to brag about our local education system. However, it is always good to hear the same thing from an outside source.

U.S. News and World Report magazine has just provided that unbiased feedback. Miller High School received a silver medal in their rankings. While there were no gold medal schools in South Dakota this year, Miller High School is the only silver medal winner in the state! How cool is that? Way cool!

Here is a quick description of the rankings from the magazine’s website:

The America’s Best High Schools project is an annual report that identifies the country’s top-performing high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest achieving to the lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.

Congratulations to the Miller High School staff, administration, and students for earning this prestigious award.

If you happen to see our teachers, administrators, or students, be sure to let them know you are proud of them for making Miller High School the best high school in the state of South Dakota.

Miller Housing Committee

HousingWe have been receiving feedback at the On Hand Development office that people moving to town are having a hard time finding affordable housing. The Miller Housing Committee has been created to study the housing situation in the Miller area. The mission of the committee is to find out the specific housing needs in the Miller area and to develop a plan to address those needs.

People may ask why On Hand Development is working on housing and how does that relate to economic development. Economic development involves helping our local businesses expand and new businesses get started. That means that these businesses will hire new employees and new employees need an affordable place to live. Insufficient housing will have a negative impact on the growth of new and existing businesses.

Committee members include Joe Fiala, Kurt Pfeifle, Ron Blachford, Dick Palmer, Mike Beaner, Dan Coss, Bryan Breitling, and Mike Ruth.

As part of this project, the committee will be conducting some surveys through the mail. They may also have an independent party conduct a telephone survey to gather pertinent data related to our community’s housing needs.

If you are contacted to provide information for one of our surveys please take the time to answer the questions. We would really appreciate your cooperation and it will allow us to get a clear picture of the housing situation in the Miller area. If you have suggestions or questions, feel free to contact us or stop by the office.

Welcome to the Blog for Miller, SD

Welcome to the blog for Miller, South Dakota. Don’t know what a blog is? Essentially, it is a journal that can be updated easily and published to the internet so that everyone can read it (here is a more detailed definition).

We will use this blog to post things about our community, organizations, and events. It will be used in conjunction with our website at and our facebook page.

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoy the info that we post here in the future.