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Thursday, January 12, 2012 ■ Covering the Williston Basin ■ Volume 2, Issue 2 Right idea,


wrong place No housing likely for Killdeer’s rodeo


grounds By LAUREN DONOVAN Bismarck Tribune


In its continued quest to build com- bined housing and commercial develop- ments in western North Dakota, a Min- nesota-based company might have the right idea in the wrong place in Killdeer. Annabelle Homes, which is well into


McKenzie County taking up zoning


Last in North Dakota to adopt ordinances


By LAUREN DONOVAN Bismarck Tribune


sizeable projects in both Stanley and Tioga, wants to build on the same con- cept of tiered commercial, townhouse and single family structures on Highway 22 going into Killdeer. The problem is that some of the 15


acres is home to the Killdeer Mountain Rodeo Roundup grounds, which would have to be relocated to make room. The rodeo property is owned by the


city of Killdeer, and offi cials have already heard from a mix of city and rural resi- dents who don’t want to give up their traditional stomping grounds. Killdeer City Commission president Dan Dolechek said the city doesn’t in- tend to give away the rodeo grounds. The location has moved three times in the Killdeer rodeo’s long history. “It’s totally up to the rodeo club peo-


ple,” Dolechek said. “If they don’t want to do this, that’s the end of the story.” City Auditor Dawn Marquardt said the local saddle club has asked to be on the city’s Jan. 17 agenda with an offer to buy the rodeo grounds for $250 an acre,


Continued on page 6


ality of McKenzie County, there’s good reason to believe the bucking horse is al- ready out of the barn and there’s no put- ting this one back. But the McKenzie County Commis- sion made history on Jan. 3 when it put a bridle on development by moving to write and adopt the county’s fi rst-ever zoning ordinances. The county is the only one in the oil


patch without zoning. People here took some pride in the fact that no one could tell them how to use their own land. But it appears those free-ranging


bareback days are a thing of the past, given the tremendous pressure of oil de- velopment and the proliferation of small man camps, semi-truck parking lots and service units set up entirely without reg- ulation.


around the county to get public reaction before voting Jan. 3. What they heard out there were some


The commission held meetings


shouts of “We don’t want zoning!” from the back of the meeting rooms. But they heard a whole lot more acknowledge-


Oil riches not


even for all Mountrail County has biggest jump in $100K earning households — 5


WATFORD CITY — In the boom re- LAUREN DONOVAN/Tribune


It’s estimated there are between 200 and 250 temporary housing sites, with an unknown number of beds, in McKenzie County. The county has no means of regulating their placement or requirements, but new zoning, approved to move forward Jan. 3, will change that.


ment that the time for zoning — unfor- tunately, for those with a staunch legacy of independence — had come. Gene Transtrom of rural Arnegard is,


perhaps, a typical convert. “We had a quiet and peaceful life and


now it’s gone,” Transtrom said, describ- ing himself as a “very conservative guy” who doesn’t appreciate government in- volvement and wouldn’t have been for zoning a few years ago. Having seen a massive infl ux without the ordering infl uence of zoning, Trans-


Sand mining


big in Midwest Wisconsin, Minnesota has valuable sand resources needed for fracking — 10


trom said he’s changed his mind about that. “This is a good day for McKenzie


County. We’ve been so sparsely populat- ed; until now, there’s been no need for it. Now, I wish we’d started a little sooner,” he said. Gene Veeder, the county’s longtime


development director whose job has seg- ued into the “point of contact” for the boom development, said he was proud of the county commission.


Continued on page 6 PetroChina buys


oil sands project China is world’s second- biggest oil consumer and looks for future needs — 11


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