December 22, 2015

Civeo moves on to County Commission

By Kate Johnson

The county planning and zoning board heard their second pitch on a crew camp facility in Mercer County. This one, however, had a different outcome than the first. Civeo Corporation was looking for the approval of a conditional use permit from the county. Through discussion at great length, the company was granted the permit requested, as well as the board making a few additions of their own.
Fred Allison, Civeo Corporation field service support manager, was there to make the workforce accommodations pitch to the seasoned county planning and zoning board members. As Allison took the spotlight the board fell silent, giving Allison their full undivided attention.
The portion of land being looked at was within the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 7, a piece of land owned by Garner Sailer sitting north of Hwy 200 between Beulah and Hazen. The facility would be placed over five acres of land and is said to be different than the previous crew camps presented. Also, there would be a $10 million performance bond to cover Mercer County’s facility.
This work force accommodations facility could be self-sufficient and would take on that role for as long as needed. Allison, explaining what self-sufficient meant, said they wouldn’t need to tap into any lines, using their own tanks for waste water and fresh water, as well as having a generator to supply the facility’s energy. Eventually they would look at tapping into city energy, but that wasn’t a requirement. The fresh water tank holds 3,300 gallons, which is heated so it doesn’t freeze throughout the colder months. The waste water tanks hold around 1,500 to 1,700 gallons.
Allison presented Civeo to be a company looking to give revenue to the community. Because of their inhabitants in Mercer County, Allison said they would be purchasing all their needs from the surrounding towns. Being that they are hauling fresh water in and waste water out, that would be something they would look at doing in Beulah, having to haul the discharge tanks almost every other day,
“Typically people use about 50 gallons a day, with showers and laundry; some use more, some use less,” says Allison.
The outtake and intake of water is dependent on how many people are in the camp and what the flows are. The board questioned if Civeo had approached the city yet on using their facilities, to which Allison responded that they had not yet at this time, wanting to have a permit in place first.
“I think it is something we can do. If it’s something they can’t do, we can haul it to our waste water facility in Killdeer and process it there if we had to,” says Allison in the instance that the City of Beulah wouldn’t want their business. “But we’d rather give the revenue to the community.”
Another source of revenue to the town would be the residents of the camp doing their shopping and eating in the nearby towns. Civeo also presenting the opportunity of opening up jobs for the surrounding society members because they would be needing to hire staff.
“It keeps the dollars in the community while we’re in the community, so we like to use local people if we can for services as well,” says Allison.
Allison presented the housing accommodations could have 200 beds. These units would have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a recreation area which would have a couch, recliner, and a TV. The facility would have an onsite manager at all times, which would take residence at the front of the property. The housing is open to women who have separate facilities, and they are placed near the manager at the front of the property as well. Allison said there is no coed mingling while in the facility, with safety coming up as a big concern for members of the board and one neighbor to the workforce housing. Allison understood and sympathized to these concerns, saying they have a strict policy in their facilities and have had a majority of good outcomes within their other accommodations.
Board Member Duane Scheurer questioned Allison on background checks of its residents. Allison said Civeo isn’t the company to do the checks, and it is their employers’ job to conduct those, explaining further that it is trusting the company to have had those checks done. However, the Civeo Corporation has a zero tolerance for drugs, alcohol, and firearms. Upon finding any of these items, the resident would be asked to leave and not return.
Scheurer also questioned about strays and whether or not just anybody could reside at this facility. Allison answered with a firm “no,” saying employment papers had to presented before being granted a place to stay.
“I like to work with the local fire marshal and do the set up, and bring that back to the county or city we’re dealing with,” says Allison, “As far as local law enforcement, they are allowed to come in the camp anytime they want -- 24 hours a day. We have had great success with it.”
Being open to local policing to coming in and driving through the camp whenever they desire, Allison stated that, with their current camp, they have had no impact on the community as far as problems or issues, going as far to say that not even one speeding citation was written to any of his residents. He also said there is strict trash control and they keep a clean, fenced facility.

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