New Crew Camp in Bainville | VideoEvan Kruegel | 10/2/2012
Bainville was once a quiet, farming town, but it`s about to have 350 new residents. And community members are not at all pleased about what`s about to happen.
There`s not a whole lot in Bainville, but thats all about to change. A 350 bed man camp is on the way, and for a town of only 283, that`s a pretty big addition.
Karen Sano manages the Welcome Stop, one of just a handful of stores in Bainville. From a business standpoint, the man camp will be a huge plus.
"We started out as a small business so if the population grows, it will give us the ability to grow which is obviously what any business would want to do. So I think it will be great," she said.
Other community members are less thrilled about all the people on their way to town.
"I don`t think its a good idea. Its just too much, too fast," said resident Awni Hauso.
The camp will house workers for ProCore, a frac-sand site just west of the town. ProCore receives more than 50 train-loads worth of imported frac-sand every week, and it will be adding more trains once the additional workers arrive. That`s far from ideal for bus drivers and emergency personnel, who already have to spend time waiting for trains to pass.
"If we`re hung up at the tracks for 20 minutes when I have an ambulance call, that could mean somebody`s life," said Bainville EMT Shelly Pacovsky.
ProCore estimates it will spend around $30 million in the Bainville area, but community members are asking, "Where?" The town has fewer than five businesses, so the shopping options are minimal.
"We don`t stand to gain a lot financially from the camp coming in. I`m sure there will be some great people coming in, but they`re already employed elsewhere. They aren`t going to be able to be able to take on these positions that we need to help the community," Pacovsky said.
ProCore has said it will work on ways to build another road into Bainville, and has also agreed to foot the entire bill for a new sewer system. The man camp will also include units for families who want to settle down long term.
"Everybody has to contribute, so I think what we`re trying to do by encouraging people to set down roots, it establishes more of a commitment to a community rather than a Transient community," said John Milino with MacBain Properties.
Even if ProCore is committed long term to Bainville, it`s clear that it still has a long way to go to win over the support of the neighbors.
MacBain Properties and ProCore have also agreed to testify before the Montana Legislature, and to do whatever they can to assist the town and county with impacts they cause.