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Fracking sand depot in the works in Richardton

RICHARDTON -- City commissioners unanimously agreed to allow annexation of nearly 80 acres of land south of the railroad for a fracking sand railroad depot during a meeting Monday at City Hall.

The next step is to hold a hearing on Oct. 8 at City Hall (no time was set as of Monday). The public will be able to get information about the project and share their comments at the hearing.

If annexed, the project is expected to bring several dozen permanent jobs to the area, said Frank Kirschenheiter, commission president.

"It would also increase our property taxes," he said. "Now, it would also bring some increased truck traffic to the area because of the site, so we've been talking to Halliburton about how to minimize the impact on residents."

Patrick Hope, city attorney, said notices can be sent to property owners who would be impacted by the annexation. However, the owners are the one's who brought the annexation request to the commission and they would be most impacted, Kirschenheiter said.

Williston real estate agent Roger Cymbaluk, who represented the property owners at Monday's meeting and was hired to assist with acquiring the land, said the property owners want to discuss the city's wishes for the site and address issues regarding access for emergency services before the property would be annexed.

He declined to comment further.

Kirschenheiter said after the October public hearing, the land would need to be engineered if the commission decides to annex the property into the city.

He also asked Cymbaluk to have his clients send the commission a site plan at least a week before the public meeting to give the commission time to review it.

"The City Commission has talked to a number of residents about this project but we haven't had a formal public hearing to get their input on the project yet," Kirschenheiter said.

Details of the project were not available Monday evening.