April 25, 2013

Missouri River Lodge project opponents meet in New Town

Missouri River Lodge project opponents meet in New Town
By Jerry W. Kram

The Missouri River Lodge, a development that would house 1,500 workers about a mile northwest of New Town, is drawing a lot of attention from residents of the area along the shore of Lake Sakakawea where it would be built.
The Lodge is being proposed by Steven Richards and Theron Larroquette, who have done development projects in Louisiana and other southern states. The proposed project would build 300 units of five rooms each with a bed and kitchenette. They say the project would be a gated, secure community that would include a small commercial zone that would host a gym, restaurant and laundromat that would be open to the public. After 15 years, the units would be converted into single family affordable housing. The project would be located off of 41st Street west of North Dakota Highway 1804.
Glenna Meiers, Dwight and Kathy Steig and Bob Valeu, who are residents or property owners in the Little Knife area where the development will be built, organized the meeting. Valeu is also the chairman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL party. The meeting attracted more than 40 area residents and concerned citizens who voiced their displeasure at the prospect of sharing their lakeside setting with what they called a mancamp that would nearly double the population of New Town.
“I see two real problems with this development,” Valeu said. “One it the quality of place and the other is the quality of services, both social and infrastructure. This development would destroy one and overload the other.”
Meiers worried that the development would bring an increase in the amount of crime in the area. She said she talked with Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson. According to Meiers, the county jail can’t hold all the people are arrested so the county has to haul inmates to a jail in Rugby. She added that the department is overworked and can’t patrol the area as often they did before the oil boom.

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