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Dunn County calls for crew camp moratorium

A crew camp moratorium will be in place in Dunn Center until the city can better review its housing situation.

The moratorium was decided on at a special City Council meeting last week after it learned of a resident who was housing 10 to 12 workers on their property without getting prior city approval to do so.

Councilman Kirk Roll, who has been on the council for about 10 years, said this is the first time he has dealt with this situation, but he hopes the council can resolve it and lift the moratorium by the end of the summer.

He said the "water system is taxed," and the council is concerned about there being enough water for regular households.

"We don't know how long the moratorium will be in place for, but we need time to go through the city ordinances and make sure everything's done right," he said. "We heard that there are others who want to bring them in too, but we want to stop before it gets out of hand. We could grandfather in the ones that are already here, but if they leave, they could not be replaced. We don't want to pick on one individual, but we don't want people to just bring in what they want."

Councilwoman Maggie Piatz said the city goes through about 18,000 gallons of water per day, which is close to the water capacity in Dunn Center.

She said she has counted about 12 crew camps in the town, and the council needs to figure out what to do before going forward with more crew camps.

"We're growing so fast and it's hard to keep up," Piatz said. "We're waiting for Southwest Water to expand our pipes and we've got a crew working on building a reservoir to hold 22,000 gallons of water. That should be completed in August and would double our capacity. After that, we'll revisit the man camp situation."

Roll said anyone looking to bring in trailers or other temporary housing would have to go to City Hall and start the process of securing a permit and being workers in.

"I don't know how long it will take to do, but people have to let us know their intents, how many people will be there and for how long, and give us an estimated water usage. There also needs to be adequate parking for these people."

Mayor Scott Lynch and Councilman Ed Danks were contacted but did not return calls in time for publications, and a phone number could not be located for Councilman Al Garness.