2024 Governor's Conference on Economic Development
HARTFORD, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem announced today that Hartford was chosen as the “Small Community of the Year.” Historically, the award is presented during the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) annual conference in the spring, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was cancelled.
“The Hartford community has a lot to be proud of,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Hartford has revitalized their downtown, laid plans for a new wastewater treatment facility, and made other strides in economic development and quality of life. Hartford’s recognition as ‘Small Community of the Year’ is well-earned and well-deserved.”
“It is an absolute honor that Hartford has been chosen as the Small Community of the Year for 2020 in the great state of South Dakota,” said Hartford Mayor, Jeremy Menning. “Our citizens, our stakeholders, and our community leaders have worked exceptionally hard to make Hartford the very best it can be. The undeniable spirit of a ‘can do’ attitude thrives in our community and this award belongs to everyone here. We can all be proud of the impact we’ve made on building a wonderful community with a rich history and lofty aspirations for the future. As long as we continue to work together, support each other, and celebrate each other’s successes, I am confident we will continue to do amazing things in Hartford.”
“Congratulations to the City of Hartford, Hartford Area Development Foundation, and all of the other organizations that contributed to this achievement. This award is a testament to the power of collaboration when leaders, citizens, and community organizations work together. The Minnehaha County Economic Development Association is proud to count Hartford as one of its members,” said Jesse Fonkert, Executive Director, Lincoln & Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations.
Former South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow created the Community of the Year award in 1989 to show appreciation and recognition to communities that have made strides in economic development, community enhancements, added jobs and invested in quality of life for its residents. Watertown was named South Dakota’s first Community of the Year that year.