Wolf Point Herald

Commissioners Approve State Plan To Realign Roadway Near Bainville

CS.4.17.14.COMMISSION WEBAfter decades of off-and-on discussions about repairing and realigning Secondary Hwy. 327 in and near Bainville, the Roosevelt County Commissioners finally approved a Montana Department of Transportation memorandum of understanding Tuesday, April 15, that will allow the project to move forward.
The project will include paving, a bypass of Bainville and bridge replacement over Little Muddy Creek from U.S. Hwy. 2 to the North Dakota state line.
The commissioners delayed a decision Tuesday, April 1, in part because the full three-member commission wasn’t present.
With the MOU now signed, all phases of the project will be completed in one project with expected completion in 2017. If the county hadn’t signed the MOU, the project could have been done piecemeal and be spread out over far more than three years.
‘That was one of our concerns that they would try to split the project,” commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said.
“[The agreement with the MDT has] everything in there I wanted to see,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
Discussions during the April 1 commission meeting included that current and projected heavy truck traffic from the Bakken Oilfield has made the project urgent.
Highway 327, also known as the Bainville-Snowden Road, runs from the North Dakota state line southeast of Bainville into the town with access to U.S. Hwy. 2. The roadway also connects to a North Dakota state highway that goes to Williston, N.D.
Oasis Petroleum is planning to drill at least 50 new oil wells south of Bainville, according to Oasis spokesman Larry Skaare.
Bainville resident Wagner Harmon expressed concern about the current condition of the road and bridge and a projected increase in heavy truck traffic due to planned drilling during the April 1 meeting.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:45

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Oasis Petroleum Looks To Drill More Than 50 New Wells

The boom might be about to get louder in eastern Roosevelt County as Oasis Petroleum prepares to drill about 50 new wells south of Bainville.
“We’ve got 98 wells in Montana at the present time. Most of them are in Roosevelt County right around Bainville and a few in Richland County,” Oasis’ Williston, N.D.-based spokesperson Larry Skaare said.
“We’ve got two rigs that are drilling over there [in the Bainville area] now. One rig will drill between 12 and 24 wells. We might be able to get two wells a month,” he said.
“This will be ongoing for next two years for sure,” Skaare said.
“That would be close to 50 more wells over two years,” he said, adding that it could be more than 50 wells.
Some people said Oasis plans to drill several hundred new oil wells south of Bainville during a recent Roosevelt County Commissioners’ meeting.
Skaare placed the number of future wells much lower.
How many total wells?
“It all depends what happens in the ground,” he said, adding that hitting good oil production would drive a need for continuing drilling.
Other companies are also drilling in eastern Roosevelt County.
Increased drilling and production in the Bainville area translates to more jobs and people relocating to Bainville and Culbertson.
“It will allow people to move in [to eastern Roosevelt County] or commute from Sidney or Williston,” Skaare said.
Both communities lack available rental housing.
We put an average of 100 men to take care of one well, Skaare said. He was referring to the drillers, truck drivers, pumpers and roustabouts.
“It depends on the size of the field,” Skaare said.
“It’s always fun to grow and the company loves to grow. We’re trying to do it right,” he said.
“We don’t want to get into a position where it would cause problems for landowners or anyone else. We just want to do it right,” Skaare said.
Texas-based Oasis Petroleum raised $400 million of long-term debt during November 2011 to fund the company’s drilling program and operations, according to information on Oasis’ website. The company purchased a substantial amount of land in eastern Montana during 2010.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:08

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GNDC Makes Website More User Friendly

The Great Northern Development Corporation website might have gotten a little more user friendly.
GNDC grant administrator Brianna Vine said during the GNDC board meeting Thursday, April 10 that the new website is now online
The site had been outdated. The improved version is smart phone compatible and uses the same web address at www.gndc.org.
“This year is our 20th anniversary and it hadn’t been updated in that time,” Vine said. “We want to make it a tool and an asset.”
It includes links to GNDC projects completed within the last five years, all programs GNDC works with, the newsletter and an archive of past newsletters. The business of the year is showcased on the website, which is Glasgow Floral and Gifts.
“It’s not very exciting, but it’s necessary information for people trying to get a loan,” Vine said.
GNDC also has a Facebook page.
Other business included a possible expansion and or remodeling of the GNDC building.
The 16-county GNDC provides services to businesses, which include assistance applying for grants.
The board also discussed the annual meeting in July and possibly making it a golf event.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:06

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New Animal Control Officer Hired To Limit Loose Dogs

HN.4.10.14.DOGS-1After months of canines having free run of Wolf Point’s streets, sidewalks, schoolyards and lawns, a new animal control officer is on the job, a move the police department hopes will curtail the problem.
J.T. Szymanski began working Thursday, April 3.
Originally from Wolf Point, Szymanski recently moved back after working in the oil fields in the Williston, N.D., area for seven years. He said he wanted to move back to Wolf Point to spend more time with his children, two boys and a girl.
Szymanski said he likes his new job, an hour after his third work day began. Monday started with two stray dogs caught and delivered to the pound during his first hour on the job.
The problem of loose, and sometimes nuisance, dogs has compounded since the city’s last animal control officer resigned in October 2013. Efforts to hire a qualified individual had been unsuccessful until Szymanski applied.
With the absence of the blue animal control pickup truck patrolling Wolf Point’s streets during recent months, the volume of dogs allowed by owners to run loose has multiplied. The police have had to address dog complaints every week and several reported bitings.
Police Chief Jeff Harada assigned blame on dog owners.
Harada said unrestrained dogs frequently leave their owners’ properties to follow children to school and then roam the city throughout the day. Many also roam at night.
“That’s been a heck of a problem,” he said.
“They (dogs) use the sidewalks like a pedestrian,” Harada said
He said fewer than 10 percent of the dogs that have been running the streets in Wolf Point are homeless strays and many of the uncollared canines that are loose belong to people.
“A collarless dog, I would say, 90 percent of the time has an owner,” Harada said.
“The loose dog problem has nothing to do with the dog problem. It’s irresponsible owners,” he said.
“We understand dogs get loose and we also understand that it’s been excessive, especially the last few months,” Harada said.
“It irritates me because people don’t take care of their animals and let them run,” Szymanski said.
“As soon as they (dogs) see that (animal control) pickup, they’re gone,” Szymanski said.
There are potential downfalls to being the one person the city employs that some people call the “dog catcher.”
“I’m sure I’ll get bit sometime,” Szymanski said. “I never turn my back on a dog.”
He added, “One of the things I don’t tolerate is a biting dog, especially with kids walking to school.”
The pound has a six-day hold and many dogs are euthanized because the city cannot hold them.
Wolf Point Pound Puppies took four dogs out of the pound over then last weekend and transported them out of town for adoption.
There are consequences for dog owners if the city locks up their dogs. It’s not cheap for owners to get their dogs back once they are caught and taken to the pound. There is a $10 impound fee plus $15 per day. If they leave their dogs beyond six days, there is a risk they could be euthanized or adopted. If that is the case, they cannot get them back.
There are city and tribal ordinances in place that require pet owners (dogs and cats) to leash or maintain their pets on their own property. The city requires dog licenses that are available for $5 for one year.
The Fort Peck Tribes holds rabies shot clinics in Wolf Point and Poplar.
Harada said it is the responsibility of pet owners to have their animals vaccinated.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 12:48

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Prom Royalty

HN.4.10.14.PROM 1Wolf Point High School prom queen and king Sarah Hafner and Trenton Wemmer were crowned as 2014 WPHS Prom royalty Saturday, April 5.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 12:46

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