Alternatives in Town Building

We are currently exploring our alternatives to building a brand new town from scratch, and at this time, we are focusing on Spencer, South Dakota. We just sent out a letter from The Laurent Institute to all lot owners in Spencer last week, and we have received favorable response thus far. It’s still too early to say at this point.

Spencer excites us in many ways. The town is ideally located only 20 minutes from Mitchell, S.D. This means you would only be 20 minutes away from Wal-Mart, Cabela’s, Menard’s, fast food, restaurants, hotels and so on. There’s even 24-hour local grocery store called Coborn’s and they carry a selection of FRESH organic meats in stock as well as a section dedicated to natural and organic grocery items.

Spencer has fairly new infrastructure (roads, sewer, water, and so on) as well as cable TV, telephone and high speed DSL internet service provided by McCook Telephone Cooperative.

However, we are not ready to announce the final selection. It depends on our ability to acquire enough lots in order for this to make sense for The Laurent Institute as well as the community as whole.

Our other alternate sites are still being researched, and they include Montana, Wyoming and Kansas as well as other sites within South Dakota. Western Montana has beautiful mountains, natural places and parks. Kansas has warmer climate and Kansas City airport is Midwest’s cheapest airport to fly in and out of. Omaha comes in second. Third is St. Louis, Mo. This excludes Chicago.

What we’d love to hear from you is which state would you “perceive” to be the best alternative out of all listed below?

  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska

And why? Maybe we should do a poll on this. At this time, we are pretty committed to staying in South Dakota, but we are always open to all other possibilities, no matter how small the chances are. By being open to options, we broaden our viewpoints.

10 Responses to “Alternatives in Town Building”

  1. Sarah Says:

    How about Oregon? We gotta think about how actually countless Deaf people would rather to be within a proximity to vincities of other Deaf communities. I am a huge nature lover and would have actually chosen Oregon. Oregon is probably the best state for nature as it got coast, mountains, waterfalls AND it’s truly abundant in organic foods that come from within state for all types of foods. Then, Oregon is close to Seattle and close to Bay Area, California.

    Oregon’s government is also VERY liberal as opposed to nearly all other states. In fact, the law has been passed several years here in Oregon where every single house must have at least one kind of natural source for electricity, be it water-powered, solar-powered, or wind-powered by the year of 2025. That’s how advanced or ahead we are.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    West Virginia…close to DC, close to NY

  3. ML Says:

    I appreciate your commitment to this big dream. You have my eyes and heart on this dream. As for location, I am not exactly thrilled with the mentioned states because of its known attitude and/or beliefs (conservativeness). However, I am aware of its potential to shift the attitudes/beliefs powered by a community. I am more interested on how economy may attract the residents to make this dream possible such as employment, businesses and academic community.

    As for weather, I am spoiled with California’s weather. So no matter what state is being proposed for this dream outside of California, I have some reservations about the other state’s climate.

    If I had to pick a state from your list of states, I would choose Utah for its climate, nature and services such as health grocery stores.


  4. Anonymous Says:

    Before picking a town maybe you ought to see if the residents are going to allow you to try and take over their town!

  5. Roger Says:

    I think Central New York would be a natural choice. :-)

  6. Lisa Says:

    You mentioned St. Louis, MO as a possible place to build your “Deaf town”, let me tell you about this town, which is a big city, and if you count the St. Louis county, the population falls close to 1.3 million, we are truely a small world type of a city. If you look at all of the groups that reside in St. Louis, they tend to congregate in small groups, such as the Jewish Orthodox, Bonsia, China town-a fairly large Chinese group and if you look closer, there are India, German, and so on forth. Let me use the Jewish Orthodox group for example, they all live within one zip code, attend multiple churches within their world, shop at major grocery stores that provides them specialized kosher food. You could see them in long skirts and over sized vans, and hair wrapped up in large hats. You get the picture. St. Louis is expanding westward, imagine building a small city within a city out west, a town byitself, very much like your plan. (I believe there is smaller walking towns like that already built) St. Louis has a large educational community for the deaf that would proudly support such a town like yours. The real question is, do you have money to start?
    On the other hand, to me, I find other large cities with larger group of deaf people might be more ideal to start up a deaf town. Those larger cities are Rochester, NY; Washingon, DC, even Martha Vineyard, MA comes to my mind. I can see a real deaf centered community happening in those cities.
    If I am wrong, please comment. Best of luck.

  7. Glen Says:

    I hope it will be in a state with respect for all people; like homosexuals, heterosexuals, different nationalities and different religions… I mean if you would create a “special” town you need an open-minded state. And South Dakota, Idaho, Colorado, Tenessee, Wisconsin and Virginia seems me not open-minded.
    You’ve to see some issues about same-sex-marriage, abortion policy, increasing minimum wages, clean environment and -very important- a warm area.

    (Europe, Belgium, Antwerp)

  8. marvmiller Says:

    Many of the states mentioned above has populations well over 2 million people, and Kansas is a little above that threshold. We need to consider states with less than 2 million population divided by available land (persons per square mile). This primarily addresses the political need — we do not want to spend millions to build a town only to find ourselves locked out of local, regional and state level politics.

  9. Rene Visco Says:

    It may sound strange, but why not buy a large size island for a few millions and live “green” lifestyle so it would be always a resort/destination for Deaf people all over the world.

  10. Erik Andreason Says:

    I Love Oregon and we tend to be an open minded state for thoose that feel that is important. I would ask that it be on the west coast or somewhere in the middle of the country. I know that New York has alot of pull for alot of people but acess from all sides of the country would suit me as well as the rest of the population.

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