Williston Considering Removal of Man Camps | VideoEvan Kruegel | 10/8/2012
"I think man camps have played a vital role in the community, and I think they`ve helped us not to overbuild in a few cases. But I think we`re far enough into this oil play, and I think we`ve now recognized it`s going to be here for a while, so I think we really need to start that transition period”, said Mayor Ward Koeser.
Officials will meet tomorrow to decide the fate of the temporary housing structures. There are only a few inside city limits, most notably the Halliburton camp east of downtown, and the Burke camp out in the industrial park. Each camp has been issued a permit for one or two years, but when those expire, they most likely will not be renewed.
"We have a committee that`s studying that now to try and come up with an exit strategy, so that we know now is the time to phase that man camp out. We don`t know how that`s going to work yet so we`re waiting for the recommendations from that committee,” said Koeser.
"When the county placed their moratorium, they allowed existing facilities with over 200 beds to expand, but the city will likely choose a stricter alternative."
"I think what the city will probably look at doing, is saying no more man camps for the next six months or a year. I don`t know that we would allow man camps to even expand, I think that would kind of defeat the purpose of what we`re trying to accomplish here,” said Koeser.
Officials estimate that over 1,000 beds are currently available in county man camps, so it`s a prime time to get them out of the city.