The downturn in the Bakken oil economy isn’t slowing growth in Killdeer.
By Mike Kopp
For the DC Herald
City Auditor Dawn Marquardt says construction is set to begin on several projects that were planned months ago when crude oil prices were nearly twice what they are today. “We haven’t heard of any slowdowns, “she said. “There has been one change; a mobile home court that was planned last year is now going to be duplexes and single family homes. That’s a good thing,” Marquardt said it means longer term housing for the city.
City Building Inspector Ron Fettig echoed Marquardt’s comments, “We haven’t heard of any slowdowns in the projects in town.” Among the projects he says will begin in the next few weeks, weather cooperating, is the Killdeer Lodge, a 67-unit motel. Also to begin about the first week in April is an infrastructure upgrades of two streets, water and sewer systems. Fettig said one of the largest projects will be contracted in a few weeks. He said the North Dakota Department of Transportation will let bids in April for the truck bypass to be built on the west side of Killdeer. That project is supposed to be done in 2016 and will include at least two round-abouts similar to the one south of town at the intersection of Highways 200 and 22. Fettig says he’s very happy about all the work in town, though it will mean a few months of inconvenience for residents. “When everything is done, it’s going to be a good thing.”
In addition to housing and infrastructure, “quality of life” projects are taking shape. An aquatic and wellness center is underway. JLG Architects and the contractor, JE Dunn company are moving forward with the project. Inland Northwest Consultants is designing an activities park to include basketball, courts, skate park, baseball diamonds and tennis courts. A design meeting last week helped refine the plans.
The High Plains Cultural Center has become a popular destination on the south edge of Killdeer and will continue to be an attraction for the city. City Commissioner Keven Candrian said he knows of no new retail businesses coming in to town, but with the cultural center and the planned projects, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if new businesses were to come to town. “We’re trying to keep things going,” he said.