July 11, 2013

No contract, bad work, money gone

No contract, bad work, money gone
By ALLAN TINKER

It was a good news-bad news, type of City of McClusky meeting on July 8. The air was ripe with “f” and “m” words, fraud and money. It was a meeting, different from most, in that it was NOT over in 45 minutes.
The good news first, at least to some. The Min-Kota power line work is slated to bring the Michels Corporation into McClusky for a stay of five to six months. The 50-plus men will be housed in trailers, coordinated by Target Logistics, the mobile workforce housing solution.
Target Logistics reports they do housing on time, on budget and on another level. They are the largest provider of turnkey workforce housing in the US, according to their information.
Michels representative Randy Bassette displayed a map and showed the planned progress, in sections, of the construction of the power line from Center, ND to Grand Forks, or more properly, the other way around: Grand Forks to Center.
He noted that they had worked through most of the winter, stopping in December, with a work effort of a week per mile, to today’s work of eleven miles per week. Good weather helps.
He noted that a helicopter crew, two really, had stepped in to help through the mud and North Dakota soil structure that drops equipment “out of sight” after it appears to be stable enough for cranes and other large equipment.
Bassette explained that 20-acre work sites are leased, leveled and covered with gravel and then used to store steel, supplies and materials for that particular leg of the construction.
“Once wire is in the air, that work has to be done quickly, resulting in 12 to 16-hour days. Once they start the pull, they pull,” he smiled.
The “man camp” in McHenry County, at mile 787, needs to move. They have been there since August of 2012. The line is nearly complete to Grand Forks, east of that point, and the work is well underway south of Mercer and in other areas getting closer to McClusky. The work place is no longer “handy” and the commute is getting long.


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