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Dunn County makes way for 6 man camps

Target Logistics expects its man camp, shown Tuesday south of Manning, to be ready for residents by the end of January. The camp, which includes saunas, exercise equipment, computer clusters, a game room and cafeteria, will hold 600 people.1 / 5
Doug Kliewer, left, and his brother, John, set up a fence around the man camp Tuesday.2 / 5
Inside look - cafeteria3 / 5
Inside look - rec room4 / 5
Inside look - bedroom5 / 5

It could be getting easier for oil workers in Dunn County to find a place to call home, in a time when an oil boom has drastically affected housing availability.

Over the past year, Dunn County commissioners approved the construction of six man camps, one of which will hold 600 workers, Planning and Zoning Code Administrator Sandy Rohde said Tuesday.

"We all know that the county has a need for housing," she said.

Five camps are in the works and a 50-room camp near Killdeer is already open.

Boston-based Target Logistics is expected to complete a camp capable of housing 600 workers by the end of January, said Joe Murphy, company president.

"Our goal is to lessen the temporary pressures on the local (housing) market," Murphy said. "We have a long-term commitment to North Dakota."

Commissioners approved the camp in October, Rohde said.

The camp, north of Dickinson along Highway 22, lies within the Joy Haven development.

Murphy said this man camp may be a step up for some workers.

The structure features single bedrooms that come with a vanity and flat-screen TV. Additionally, there is a cafeteria, which Murphy said will have some of the "best food available."

Workers will also be able to unwind by shooting pool, playing card games and enjoying a hot sauna in the recreation room.

Contractors for Target Logistics worked on building a parameter fence Tuesday.

Murphy said he expects the camp to be fully occupied by July. He added that Target Logistics is interested in building an additional camp.

"We're looking at different locations for a lodge," Murphy said.

But a second camp will have to wait.

"We do have a moratorium on crew housing until May 31," Rohde said. "There will not be approval of any additional man camps until that time."

Other camps are also going up near Killdeer and Manning.

Rohde said county commissioners approved Goliath Industries to build a 200-person camp in December. It will be located south of Manning.

To the east, Sister-n-Law Oil Field Services will put up a 100-man camp, which county commissioners approved to build in December, she added.

Wylie Bice Trucking Inc. plans to construct a 38-person camp north of Killdeer, Rohde said. She also said Screaming Eagle owns a 50-person camp, which is operating. Superior Well Services plans to place a 300-person camp to the west, she said.

The housing comes at a time when other areas are banning the camps.

Glen Ullin, an Oil Patch town southeast of Dunn County, decided to ban man camps earlier this week, according to The Associated Press.

Dickinson also turned down a proposal by Target Logistics for a camp on the edge of the city in September.

There has been less housing in Dunn County since the area has been part of a recent oil boom.

Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew has concerns regarding the effect more man camps may have on area traffic, but she is mostly happy to see that more people will have a place to live.

"I think our general public needs to feel more confident about these places being put in place," Brew said.