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Morton County approves policy for man camps

By LEANN ECKROTH Bismarck Tribune

on June 5 approved a man camp policy that requires setbacks of three-fourths mile from homes, schools, businesses and churches. The camps must be one- half mile away from parks, according to state law. It keeps the fee schedule that was

originally drafted. Commissioners felt that higher fees would not survive a legal challenge by a company wishing to create a temporary man camp in county borders. Fees will remain at: n A $400 planning and zoning fee

for each occupant. n A $35,000 per year fee for at least

two years (minimum of $70,000) for the first 100 occupants and $5,000 for every 100 occupants beyond that. The fee would help pay for more policing,

The Morton County Commission

personnel, equipment and other needs caused by demands of the man camp. It would help process man camp ap- plications. n A cleanup bond that starts at

$20,000 for 50 people and $250,000 for a camp of 1,200 people. New wording also specifies that

agriculture properties housing three or more occupied RVs or connected mobile homes on a piece of property must obtain a special use permit for ei- ther a mobile home park or man camp. County Tax and Equalization Director Linda Thomas said that is to ensure the property has the right utilities, ru- ral addressing and meets other health codes. After several public hearings at the

Morton County Planning and Zoning Commission level, the fees were not contested among commissioners. However, they did debate whether the words “should” or “shall” ought to

be used with the three-fourths-mile setback. Commissioners settled on “should” for the setbacks because that allowed a rural landowner who wanted a man camp near him to seek a varia- tion if the man camp didn’t intrude upon a neighbor. Any applicant must go through a public hearing process and the county commission makes the decision, commissioners reasoned. They invited new County Planner

Aaron Nelson for his take on the word- ing. Nelson asked to study it further since it was only his second day on the job. Nelson’s office will be at the Mor- ton County Highway Department. In related, action commissioners ta-

bled acting on revisions to the county’s comprehensive plan until Nelson has time to review it. (Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-

8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktri-

Thursday, June 14, 2012n Page 5

14 hours spent


oil leak Oil workers in

McKenzie County took nearly 14 hours to regain control over a well that began spray- ing oil, gas and wa- ter on May 27. A spokesman for

WPX Energy said that a well it operates near Man- daree called the Mandaree War- rior well experienced an “inter- ruption” during the completion process. The spokesman said there were no injuries and there was no fire. Crews were able to stop the leak after nearly 14 hours. The spokesman said remedia- tion work is under way at the site.


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