Golden Valley County commissioners prepare for man campsBEACH — The Golden Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission members met Monday afternoon to discuss permits issued to work-camp housing. An amendment was passed that contained conditions for companies to establish facilities for workers.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
BEACH — The Golden Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission members met Monday afternoon to discuss permits issued to work-camp housing. An amendment was passed that contained conditions for companies to establish facilities for workers.
“The county has been approached from several angles,” said Henry Gerving, Golden Valley zoning director. “The probability of a man camp being developed in Golden Valley is relatively high.”
The commission has met several times to discuss plans and policies for housing crew members for oil companies. The commission wants to be prepared for companies that make camps in Golden Valley County, said Gerving, and they want to be able to give them the correct information.
One concern brought up during the meeting was how close the man camps would be allowed to town. Commission member Paul Schmitz of Beach mentioned his city didn’t want the camp near its limits.
“The city doesn’t want anything to do with it,” Schmitz said. “If they are not a self-sufficient man camp, they are all going to come up into town.”
Other members, like John Thompson of Beach, disagreed with pushing the camps far from town. He said other counties and cities had planned for workers living near town.
“I thought it was an interesting perspective that they wanted it close to Killdeer,” Thompson said. “I talked to the commissioners from Dunn County and he said, ‘When we talk to the fire chief, we talk to the sheriff, they don’t want to be driving 20 miles out to check on them.’”
Gerving also added it would be safer to have camps closer to town.
“If those men are 10 miles out, they are going to drive into Beach anyways,” he said. “You have more chance of something going wrong or getting an accident if they are farther out.”
The commission discussed several other points to be made to the ordinance and passed it unanimously. The ordinance must now go before the county commission to be approved as a zoning ordinance.
Gerving added that not having any exclusionary act will allow the zoning board to entertain all businesses and companies who want to develop a man camp.
“That’s why I took the approach of as long as we are receptive to whatever is receptive, it will allow companies to look at their options based on landowners,” Gerving said. “Then the zoning board will then be most informed how to do that.”
“The company can now come directly to me, develop a plan, come back and make an application,” he said. “It’s a streamline process for the company and the land owners.”
Gerving was glad at how smoothly the process had worked out for the zoning commission. With any luck, he estimated the ordinance would be adopted by the second week of September.