September 12, 2013

Developer deluge at city council meeting

Developer deluge at city council meeting
By Jerry W. Kram
Four developers of major projects in and around Parshall were the agenda of Tuesday’s regular City Council Meeting as the council also coped with a transition in the auditors position.
Mayor Richard Bolkan started the meeting with an announcement that Auditor Larry Zieman was terminated last Friday. The stated reason for the termination was that Zieman was not keeping up with the demands of the position. Kelly Woessner was appointed interim auditor until the position was filled. The city also amended its agreement with AE2S to provide support services for Woessner until the position is filled. The council also voted to amend Woessner’s hours and rate of pay in light of her new duties.
Three developers took up much of the time on the council’s agenda. Fred Cortez presented his case to the council for a zoning change on a parcel of land just south of the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks a mile west of Parshall. While the land is not in the Parshall city limits, it is within the city’s extra-territorial zoning authority. The council had voted against the zoning change from agricultural to industrial in a previous meeting because of traffic concerns on the road to Parshall Bay.
Cortez said the council’s previous decision was based on a belief that the site would be used for truck parking or another business that would involve heavy trucks. He described his business as a high-tech machining and oilfield fabrication business. While occassionally, the company would fabricate something large enough to be hauled by a semi, the bulk of the company’s production would be shipped in panel or box trucks – no different than a UPS truck, Cortez said.
Cortez said his company has a long history of working with oil companies in Louisiana. He wants to develop a service center and training center here in North Dakota to serve the Bakken oil rush. His current plans call for a 40,000 sq. ft. building that would employ 12 workers to start, and could employ 10 times that number if the demand warrants. He would bring the workers in from his operation in Louisiana. He said the company would build regular homes for the workers and not create a man camp.

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