Is Underwood ready for another boom?
By Michael Johnson, Editor
Staff from Dickinson State University and Senator Kent Conrad’s office visited Underwood recently and posed the question, “Is Underwood ready for a boom?” The answer coming from the two that were present was “yes,” to a point. And Underwood could be a much more attractive option than some for those working in the energy field. John Hurlimann, director of the office of extended learning at DSU, said that a pad in Watford City, the heart of the oil boom, was going for $1,200 a month, apartments were going for $2,000 a month. “It is cheaper to rent a house in Malibu on the ocean,” he said. With Underwood apartments going for around $550 a month, it might be worth a drive to be here, surrounded by greener pastures, they reasoned. Energy development has been a factor in Underwood’s sustainability for many years, Underwood city auditor Diane Schell explained. When the first coal mines started up, people came. When the coal-fired plant started construction, many more came. The addition of an ethanol plant again brought further incentive for workers to live in and around Underwood.