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Dain Sullivan, Forum Communications Co., Published January 11 2012

Dunn County man camps to ease housing crunch

It will soon be easier for oil workers in Dunn County to find a place to call home, in a time when an oil boom has drastically affected housing availability.

Over the past year, Dunn County commissioners approved the construction of six man camps, one of which will hold 600 workers, Planning and Zoning Code Administrator Sandy Rohde said on Tuesday.

“We all know that the county has a need for housing,” she said.

Five camps are in the works and a 50-room camp near Killdeer is already open.

Target Logistics, a company with headquarters in Boston, is expected to complete a camp capable of housing 600 workers by the end of January, company President Joe Murphy said.

“Our goal is to lessen the temporary pressures on the local (housing) market,” Murphy said. “We have a long-term commitment to North Dakota.”

Commissioners approved the camp in October, Rohde said.

The camp, north of Dickinson along Highway 22, lies within the Joy Haven development.

The structure features single bedrooms that come with a vanity and flat-screen TV. Additionally, there is a cafeteria, which Murphy said will have some of the “best food available.” Workers will also be able to unwind by shooting pool, playing card games and enjoying a hot sauna in the recreation room.

Contractors for Target Logistics worked on building a parameter fence on Tuesday.

Murphy said he expects the camp to be fully occupied by July. He added that Target Logistics is interested in building an additional camp. But a second camp will have to wait.

“We do have a moratorium on crew housing until May 31,” Rohde said. “There will not be approval of any additional man camps until that time.”

Other camps are also going up near Killdeer and Manning.

The housing comes at a time when other areas are banning the camps.

Glen Ullin, an Oil Patch town southeast of Dunn County, decided to ban man camps earlier this week.

Dain Sullivan writes for the Dickinson Press