February 27, 2014

New look at New Town

City poised for burst of oil fueled growth

By Jerry W. Kram

The New Town City Council got to peek into the future at its regular meeting on Feb. 19, and New Town’s future looks exciting – and expensive.

City Engineers Steve Ike and Joe Dubel presented the council with a proposal to study New Town’s potential population growth so the city can plan for the inevitable expansion that will come with the Bakken oil boom. Along with the proposal came a map of what the engineers’ best guess is for where the city’s growth will occur and how much it will cost the city to support that growth. The map is not official in any way, but at least some of the information presented comes from developers whose projects are in the planning phase.

Ike said a lot of the growth will be around the truck reliever route or bypass that is going to be built this summer. He projects that there will be a lot of commercial development along North Dakota Highways 23 and 1804 where they join with the bypass. The map shows growth of medium and high density residential housing going up between the existing city boundary and the bypass. Farther in the future, possibly 10 years off, Ike thinks there may be more low density housing going in northeast and west of the bypass and south of the current city.

If all the growth depicted in the map comes about, New Town could triple in area. Ike said the city’s population could grow from 2,200 a few years ago to 4,000 or even 6,000. That uncertainty is why he feels the population growth study would be a good idea.

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