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McClusky crew camp to host power line workers

MCCLUSKY -- A company known for its crew camps in the western North Dakota Oil Patch is setting up temporary housing in the central community of McClusky, and some residents are wary.

Target Logistics is providing housing for up to 84 workers on the $351 million Minnkota Power Cooperative electrical transmission line that will stretch from the Center area to Grand Forks, delivering coal-generated power from the Milton R. Young plant.

Work is mostly complete on the eastern end of the line and the shift into McClusky signals startup of work on the stretch from Carrington to Center, Minnkota spokesman Kevin Fee said.

The mobile housing units are being moved from a spot near McHenry to a mobile home area in McClusky, where utility hookups already are in place, Target Logistics spokesman Travis Kelley said.

City Councilman Andy Werth said he's not opposed to the units being in town, but he does have reservations about the site.

"We'll have a lot of traffic by our school and in a residential area," he said.

Werth said having extra people in the community isn't necessarily a bad thing, but he is worried about negative feedback from residents.

Resident Tina Majors said she is worried about whether the city has enough water and sewer capacity to handle the crew camp. She also thinks residents should have had more say.

"How would you feel if, on a whim, the city decided to move a man camp right next to where you live -- literally, a block away from where you live?" she said.

Target Logistics provides security at its crew camps and bans alcohol, drugs and firearms, according to Kelley.

"All our facilities are low-impact on the community. There were no problems in McHenry, and we're in good standing in the town," he said.

The new transmission line is scheduled to be activated at the end of next February, delivering electricity to eastern North Dakota and Minnesota, Fee said.