October 7, 2011

State officials hear oilfield woes

State officials hear oilfield woes
By Jerry W. Kram

Officials from the North Dakota Department of Commerce got an earful as they visited New Town and Parshall to gauge the impact of oil development and try to figure out how to help the two communities cope.
Mike Fladeland of the department’s energy division, Josh Simmers of the department’s communities division and Jon Schneider of the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission visited the communities Sept. 28 at the invitation of State Representative Kenton Onstad. Fladeland said the goal of the meetings was to “hear everybody’s thoughts on what is going on in the communities.”
Fladeland said the Commerce Department was trying to look beyond the immediate boom in oil drilliing.
“We aren’t working for the oil and gas industry,” he said. “Right now we have to live with the oil business. But we are business developers who are looking for manufacturers to come to this area and create permanent jobs. What we want to do is make sure all those homes and motel rooms stay filled after the oil industry moves on.”
City officials in New Town were unanimous on what their top concern was.

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