Polk & Merrick Counties – Nebraska

Regional Opportunity Assessment


In 2020, the Polk County Rural Public Power District got curious about how communities in their service area might work together to improve the quality of life for their current residents – retaining or even growing their populations down the road. Atlas Community Studios, a team built to help do this work, committed to working with six communities in the Power District’s footprint to identify opportunities in the region to support this type of investment and growth.

With some initial input from the Power District and a little more specific feedback from local leaders, the Atlas team has identified a few possible focus areas.  The next step is to hear directly from residents in Shelby, Osceola, Polk, Stromsburg, Silver Creek, and Clarks about what makes these communities special and the challenges they feel keep the region from growing.

Community Survey

This survey is an opportunity for residents of Polk, Shelby, Osceola, Silver Creek, Clarks, and Stromsburg to engage in a regional strategic planning process funded by the Polk County Rural Public Power District.

When responding to this survey, we ask that you answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully to lay the framework for the resulting recommendations. Your participation and input is a valuable resource for city leadership and your fellow residents.

Be assured this survey is completely anonymous.

Visioning/Site Visits

Stay tuned for more information or reach out to the point of contact for more information.

Regional Steering Committee

Thank you to the following people for volunteering their time and efforts during this process.

Name Community/Organization
Donn Graff Mayor, City of Osceola
Tasha Weller Osceola Community Action Group
Jason Lavely Osceola Public Schools
Ken Everingham Mayor, City of Stromsburg
Chris Tordrup Stromsburg Chamber of Commerce
Cale Pallas Pallas Seeds
Brent Holinger Cross County Schools
Justin DeWitt Cross County Schools
Dean Thomas Chairman, Village of Polk
Kathie Carlstrom Clerk, Village of Polk
Randy Rinkol Silver Creek
Travis Silver Creek
James Parsons Board Member, Village of Clarks
Judy Rieken Village of Clarks
Pat Davis Mayor, Village of Shelby
Jeff Willis Board Member, Village of Shelby
Shelly Nekl Pinnacle Bank
Lisa Shelby Lumber

Your Point of Contact

Kate Greene
Redevelopment Director