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City of North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing and Senior Planner, Mike McCarty flew out on Friday, September 27th to visit the Townlet of Mestia, Republic of Georgia as part of an exchange program for professional capacity building. The program is designed to foster a relationship between peer institutions from developing and developed countries in the form of a professional and cultural exchange to assist the developing country through a mentor-mentee relationship.
Hearing and McCarty will be in Mestia through October 10th. The focus of this trip will be transportation and finance.
This is the third trip that City staff has made to the country. All trip-related expenses are funded by the Asian Development Bank, an international development finance institution dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through loans, technical assistance, grants and equity investments promoting social and economic development.
“The goal of this and prior visits to Mestia is to gain insight on ways to improve transportation in a country that is similar in size and terrain and shares our situation of rapid growth and outdoor recreation as well as learn information we can use in our planning to help foster tourism in North Bend,” Mayor Hearing said.
Representatives from Mestia will visit North Bend from Wednesday, October 9th, through Friday, October 18th. Several events are being planned during their visit, including a public meet and greet prior to the October 15th City Council meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. More details to follow.
In return for City staff’s professional assistance, Mestia, will help provide North Bend with insights into such things as retention of cultural heritage, their local economic strengths, tourism, and fostering outdoor recreation. The Mestia area has blossomed as an outdoor recreation center in the recent past.
Mestia is just over 6,000 miles from North Bend and has a population of approximately 2,000. It is nestled within the Greater Caucasus Mountain range with mountains reaching above 17,000 feet in some areas, boasting some of the most rugged terrain in Europe.
For more information about the program, email Jesse Reynolds at email@example.com.