Man camp proposed in Stark CountyStark County officials will discuss whether a 100 to 400 unit man camp should be erected about seven miles southwest of Dickinson during a county Zoning Board meeting Monday.
Stark County officials will discuss whether a 100 to 400 unit man camp should be erected about seven miles southwest of Dickinson during a county Zoning Board meeting Monday.
Shannon Weflen is requesting a conditional use permit for the proposed project, which is located on his land, said Diane Brines, Stark County tax director.
“A conditional use permit would allow them to do that and then … we could monitor it more if they’re not following the conditions that we thought they should be,” Diane Brines said. “The county zoning board can pull that permit at any time.”
A permit would apply to about 40 acres which is zoned for agricultural use and the proposal wouldn’t change the zoning on the land, she added.
“It’s just giving them permission to do that and it can be monitored that way,” Brines said.
There are no man camps in Stark County, according to area officials.
However, oil activity in the area has caused a housing crunch and campgrounds hold high concentrations of workers from the oil industry.
“Our campgrounds are all full,” Belfield Police Chief Joe Schmidt said.
Dan Caylor, a rig welder working in the Mandaree area, said campgrounds in the Killdeer area are filling up too.
He has worked with a person who commuted from Dickinson and another who lived in a Killdeer motel.
“He got laid off about a month ago,” Caylor said of the man who lived in a motel. “He’s been paying for his room the whole time so he can keep it when he comes back. That’s how bad it is. It’s expensive, too.”
Caylor has heard area residents talking about the need for more housing.
“The trouble is they don’t know how long the boom’s going to last,” he said. “I’ve heard other people talking and they’re afraid to invest in something really big because then who knows — the next day the boom might end and then they’re stuck with that investment.”
Man camps are a possible solution since they are not a permanent structure, he said.
Russ Hoff, a Stark County Zoning Board and County Commission member, said he will keep an open mind when listening to the proposal at Monday’s meeting.
“I’m open to their ideas because there is definitely a situation out there where there’s nowhere for anybody to live,” Hoff said. “We’re going to have to try figuring something out. I guess it depends on what they have to say.”
The proposed project will contain a centralized area for recreation and eating, according to the Zoning Board agenda. The units would be fenced as well.
The Stark County Zoning Board will meet at the courthouse in Dickinson at 3 p.m. and will hear the man camp proposal at 5 p.m.
A phone number for Weflen could not be located.