STUDY: School enrollment to double to 3,000 students within decade

McKenzie Co Public School District #1's enrollments will continue to grow annually by 6-8% according to numbers presented to the school, leading up to 3,116 students by the 2027/2028 school year. The study projects Watford City's population to grow to 13,160 by 2023, and finds that more single family housing priced under $300,000 is needed to facilitate that growth. The study was done by RSP Associates LLC, which had a 97.3% accuracy with their one-year projections for 2017/2018 enrollments. To see more demographics and background on the study view the presentation.

MORE INFO: Editorial by the McKenzie County Farmer
$150M natural gas plant in the works

A $150 million join venture between Targa Resources and Hess Midstream Partners is looking to bring another natural gas processing plant to McKenzie County. The plant will be located at an existing Targa facility south of Watford City.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hess’ significant investment, which underscores the company’s longstanding presence in North Dakota and commitment to our state,” ND Governor Doug Burgum said of the news. “This processing plant will provide much-needed capacity at a time when North Dakota’s oil production nears record levels and associated natural gas production continues to climb. It’s a huge step in the right direction toward continuing to meet our flaring reduction goals and encouraging responsible energy development and infrastructure investment.”

See press release from ND Governor Doug Burgum.
Local cartoonist highlighted by Huffington Post

Watford City resident Amanda El-Dweek was recently featured in a Huffington Post article talking about her "Amanda the Great" comic strip which is published on The comic strip chronicles her daily life in North Dakota.

We are grateful for the vibrancy Amanda and other local artists bring to our community!
Watford City highlighted at Governor's Main Street Summit

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum's Main Street Initiative wants communities to focus on three pillars: creating healthy, vibrant communities; building a 21st century workforce; and having smart, efficient infrastructure. To that end he hosted over 700 people earlier this week at a summit where speakers and discussions focused on ways to work towards those goals. A theme throughout the conference was that a community not only needs good jobs to attract new people, it also must have a strong quality of life. Lieutenant Governor (and former Watford City mayor) Brent Sanford gave a keynote address about managing Watford City's growth to help get it to where it is today. Further, Lindsay Veeder from Door 204 in Watford City talked about her entrepreneurial efforts as part of a panel "Create the Life You Love in North Dakota." The governor is looking to make this summit an annual event.

February Economy at a Glance released

A couple highlights this month's Economy at a Glance:

  • Updated oil production break even points for the four major oil-producing counties show a drop or hold even from 2017Q3 to 2017Q4.

  • McKenzie County unemployment for Dec 2017 was 2.1%; in Dec 2016 it was 3.7%.
WCHS senior named presidential scholar candidate

Watford City High School senior Dakota Ann Sipe has been invited to apply as a presidential scholar. Nationwide, only 4500 students get this honor.

See more in this Williston Herald article.
CDL and CNA training now available

Training for Commercial Drivers License (CDL) begins on February 26 right here in Watford City. Additionally Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) will also be available starting in March. For more information visit or call 701-572-2835.
Toastmasters club gains steam

A group from Watford City has been working towards fulfilling the requirements needed to be officially chartered by Toastmasters International, which they think will happen by April of this year. Toastmasters is an international organization that exists to help its members improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Their next meeting will be Monday, February 19 from 6-7pm (sharp) at the Watford City Veterinary Center upstairs meeting room. Everyone is welcomed to check it out at no cost. Dues for founding members are $75. For more information contact:
Employer registration now open for job fair

The Job Service North Dakota Multi-Industry Job Fair will be held at the Rough Rider Center on April 26, 2018 from 11am-3pm.

For more information:
Free concert

The Long X Arts Foundation is hosting a free Main Street Souvenirs concert by Scott Kirby. The multi-media stage performance features live piano music, spoken narrative, and a video presentation.

The concert will be at 7:30pm on Saturday, February 24th at the Watford City Performing Arts Center at Watford City High School.
Hockey tournaments come to Rough Rider Center

Get ready, it's time for hockey tournaments at the Rough Rider Center:

  • March 1-3 Jr Gold State Hockey
  • March 9-11 Girls 12U State Tournament
  • March 15-18 Northern Plains District President's Cup
Indoor rodeo coming to town

You don't have to wait until the summer to get to your next rodeo. Bulls, Broncs & Bulldoggin' is coming to the McKenzie County Fairgrounds Indoor Area on March 3, 2018 at 7pm.

Learn more about the event here.
Pioneer Museum to host Hygge event

The Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County is seeking to celebrate the Scandinavian word hygge (pronounced HOO-GA) which is the idea of a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. The event will feature food, pencil art lessons, special exhibits and more.

This free event runs from 6:30-8:30pm on Friday, February 23 at their facility at 100 2nd Ave SW, Watford City. For more information contact the museum at 701-444-2990 or read this article from The Roundup.
500 volunteers and $24K needed for 100,000+ meals

On March 9 and 10, five-hundred volunteers will be packing supplies at the Rough Rider Center for 101,088 meals to provide to those in need around the world. To learn more, reserve a 2 hour volunteer slot, or donate funds visit.
Registration open for oil conference

Registration is now open for those wanting to attend or reserve a booth space at The Bakken Conference & Expo. The event will be held July 16-18, 2018 at Watford City's Rough Rider Center. Registration is free for those who are operating producers, or from active drilling or completion companies.
Check out the upcoming events listed on our community calendar like the Mainstreet Souvenirs concert at the WCHS Theater on Feb 24.
View past issues of the monthly update here.