Billings County to get crew campPlans for Billings County’s first crew camp are moving ahead, officials said Friday, almost a year after construction was supposed to begin.
Plans for Billings County’s first crew camp are moving ahead, officials said Friday, almost a year after construction was supposed to begin.
Energy Resource Group of Lafayette, La., released models of its 200-unit lodging facility to The Dickinson Press on Friday. If everything goes according to plan, the camp should be finished in late August, ERG Chief Operating Officer Marc Barra said.
“As soon as we secure a contract, construction should take about 90 days to complete,” he said. “We need to find a suitable tenant so that we can live up to the commitments that we made.”
After sitting empty for 11 years, the Billings County School Board unanimously voted to sell the seven-acre property to Marc Barra’s company April 13, 2011. It was valued at $450,000.
The Billings County Commission approved a conditional use permit for ERG in July, giving the company the green light to build. It plans to renew the permit, Barra said.
The K-8 school, which was once home to the Fryburg Bobcats and was featured in the 2001 film “Wooly Boys,” closed in 2000 as a result of dwindling numbers, officials previously told The Press.
Barra previously told The Press construction was set to begin late last summer, but changes in client management and direction held up the process.
Barra would not name the client.
Billings County Commission Chairman Jim Arthaud opposed the crew camp being built in the small town, adding it shouldn’t go in a residential area.
“There are places for them. I think they are needed, but I don’t think that they should be right in a town,” he said.
Crystal Calkins of Fryburg plans to move to Dickinson, citing the crew camp as one of the main reasons for leaving the town.
“It’s just not a place for kids, but I know they have to go somewhere,” she said.
As long as ERG complies with the county, it should be able to proceed, Commissioner Mike Kasian said. If it doesn’t, the camp will be put on hold again.
The preliminary work is complete, but ERG wants to find the right company that would fit into the community of Fryburg, Barra said.
He added the company has lost almost eight months’ worth of revenue and time, but it wanted to meet the wishes of the community.
“If we would have come in and put trailers in, they would be full,” he said. “That would have been very easy to do. We’ve sacrificed because we’re true to our word. We stood in front of the people and said, ‘This is who we are and this is what we want to do.’”