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MBI plans training facility: Zoning Board approves land rezone near Belfield; some residents protest

Despite protests from residents, Stark County's Planning and Zoning Board on Thursday approved a request to rezone 78 acres of land from agricultural to industrial near Belfield, which is planned for purchase to construct a training and employee housing unit for Missouri Basin Inc. Energy Services.

Zoning board member Chuck Steffan, MBI operations manager, refrained from comment during discussion of the request. He also abstained from the 8-0 vote at the meeting at the Stark County Courthouse.

The Stark County Commission still has to give final approval at its Sept. 4 meeting.

MBI plans to purchase the property from Brian Dolyniuk of Beach, who has family that live near the proposed training and housing site.

Diane Procive, a resident near the site where she and her husband have lived for 27 years, disagreed with the board's handling of the proposal.

"I was disappointed at how the zoning board was so inconsistent in their decision-making between proposals," she said. "They even helped MBI revise their proposal during the hearing to make it work. They didn't use the same guidelines from one proposal to another."

Phillip Dolyniuk, Brian Dolyniuk's father, spoke on behalf of his son, who requested the rezoning because he still owns the land, and said his family that lives near the site understand it will mean increased traffic, but it will also provide training for people.

County Commissioner and zoning board member Russ Hoff said he felt that the board and the county commission could place conditions on the plan to make it more suitable to all parties.

"I understand the comments on this," he said. "Maybe this is not the best place for this, but there is a need for this. You drive down the road and see situations with these trucks, and they're trying to prevent those."

Board member Kurt Froelich said he lives along Highway 34, so he understands the residents' concerns.

"I know the issues they have to deal with and I feel for them," he said. "But I also see the education side of this."

Jim Arthaud, CEO of MBI Energy Services, said MBI would be the only user of the facility at this time.

He said it would contain a refurbished workover rig, wire-line truck, and hot oil truck to allow workers to practice what they would learn in the classroom.

"That stuff will stay on the facility," Arthaud said. "The only additional traffic I could see would be administration coming in and out, but it's not going to be a high generation of traffic."

Arthaud added that MBI would like to have an oil rail car and rail sand car at the site, since MBI owns three rail facilities in North Dakota.

"We just want to train our people right," he said. "I think you guys want to train your people right. You have oil being unloaded in Dickinson."

Arthaud said 100 barrels of crude oil may be stored on the site for training purposes, but MBI's original application did not state that.

It would be contained in a tank with a cement berm, Arthaud said. He said there would also be a standard spill response in place.

"We'd be happy to present that to you and deal with emergency management," he said.

Arthaud said the company hopes to finalize plans as soon as the Stark County Commission gives its approval.