Dickinson considering crew campsAn energy company recently applied to put a 250-person crew camp in Dickinson, and city officials are considering selling land for similar projects.
An energy company recently applied to put a 250-person crew camp in Dickinson, and city officials are considering selling land for similar projects.
The camp application includes a 20,000-square-foot dining, meeting and recreational space, City Planner Ed Courton wrote in an email.
It is proposed to be located at the southwest corner of 29th Street East and 4th Avenue East by Lafayette, La.-based Energy Lodging LLC, Courton said.
“I think it’s safe to say that the city is interested in providing housing sufficient to provide more balance to the supply versus demand formula that exists in Dickinson,” City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.
Oil activity has created a housing crunch for western North Dakota.
“We also recognize that the drilling side of the operation is the most labor-intensive, and that when production begins, much less staff is required and so crew camps would allow us to not overbuild or at least come closer to matching future demand,” Kessel said.
About 50 acres owned by the city in east Dickinson has been identified as a potential site for crew camps, Kessel said. The site is near the city’s baler building.
“There’s been no deal reached, but I will say that we are entertaining that because the site is industrial in nature and would be away from the majority of residential housing so we feel as though that would be a good spot for a crew camp,” he said.
However, that site has also been identified as a potential place to put a public works building.
“I don’t know how much land we can sell there because it’s all contingent upon us having a site to construct our public works building — that’s a must,” Kessel said. “When we’ve identified a site, then we would like to construct it if we can work a deal out potentially to sell the whole 50 acres, but if we can’t, then we’ll probably only sell 25 (acres).”
He hopes construction on the public works building will begin next year.
About three years ago, the 50 acres was listed for sale for $75,000, but it has not available for sale for two years, Kessel said.
Though he declined naming a price, he said “the city won’t sell that land for that price. The revenue to the city will be significantly higher than that amount.”
Crew camps have been met with some controversy. There are none inside city limits, but Dickinson Police Capt. Joe Cianni said constructing one in Dickinson would have pros and cons.
“Some of these facilities that build the crew camps are reputable and they have a stringent policy for the behavior on the crew camp facilities themselves,” he said. “So depending on which company is managing the crew camp it can be a good thing, because it alleviates some of the load from the local economy as far as housing is concerned.”
However, emergency service providers would be stretched further.
“Any time that you put a group of people together living in a facility there’s going to be issues that require the response of law enforcement or some other emergency services,” Cianni said.
The Energy Lodging proposal is tentatively scheduled for the Dec. 21 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Attempts to contact Energy Lodging LLC were unsuccessful.