- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

TIOGA, N.D. (AP) - A massive man camp in western North Dakota has closed, and its operator might look into turning part of it into single-family homes.

The Capital Lodge located outside Tioga closed just before Thanksgiving, the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1NMAV7h ) reported. Fewer than 50 workers were occupying the multiunit facility license for as many as 2,000 beds.

CEO Mike Boudreau said the company will look at options for the facility’s future in the spring. He said they might renovate 80 of its large units into single-family residences and convert the complex into a mixed-use development, an idea he originally had when the facility was developed in 2010.

“It could be a potential community, with the dome as a community center. It’s a plan that makes sense,” Boudreau said.

Mike Sizemore, development director for Williams County, said the county is down to fewer than 2,000 man camp beds after once having 12,000 licensed. The county decided that operators need at least 50 beds to have a permit, and starting in 2016, the per-bed fee is going up from $400 to $800.

Sizemore said most of the smaller camps have just shut down and gone away. He said transforming a man camp into a community would be unique.

Sizemore said community development isn’t part of the county’s comprehensive land use plan, which calls for such conditional uses to be returned to agricultural zoning, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, either.

“It’s not a dead issue, or against the code. It’s just not part of the comprehensive plan,” said Sizemore, adding that the wishes of Tioga and the township would have to be considered.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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