September 11, 2014

Bakken counties share many concerns


By Jerry W. Kram

Second in a series of articles on the roadmap laid out by the Vision West ND consortium for sustainable development in western North Dakota.


The oil boom has brought many changes to the counties of Western North Dakota. Some of these changes have been positive, but the burden of having tens of thousands of new residents has stretched services and infrastructure to the breaking point in many communities. In response, the Vision West ND consortium held public meetings in 18 counties and three segments of the Fort Berthold Reservation to find out what the top concerns of area residents and officials were.

While the report released earlier this summer deals with 17 different issue areas, a half dozen topics were repeated at nearly every meeting, said Shirley Brentup, Executive Director of the Vision West project. Those six issues were housing, emergency services, childcare, transportation, water and "organizational structure."

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