$5 million authorized for development of housing in McKenzie County

The McKenzie County Job Development Authority has been granted $5 million dollars from the McKenzie County commission to put towards projects that increase the number of single family homes constructed in McKenzie County. The most recently-released project is the Shovel-ready lot program which has a Request for Proposals out until February 21, 2020 at 10am CT. The other housing program of the Job Development Authority is the Housing Development Subsidy which has been in place since June 2019. There have been a few updates to that program that include:
  • Allow for off-site, stick-built homes that are built to IRC codes and meet the JDA building requirements
  • Increase max city lot size from 10,000 square feet to one acre
  • Mandated completion of foundation increased from 30 days to 60 days
  • Clarifies that ingress/egress to basement must be finished to nearest facing bedroom/bathroom wall with all other unfinished space accessible through interior door for any houses that are using bedroom(s)/bathroom(s) in the basement to meet the 3 bedroom/2 bathroom minimum requirements. 

For full information on either of the program visit the following webpages: Shovel-ready lot program and Housing Development Subsidy .
Highway 85 segment to be expanded

The North Dakota Department of Transportation has announced the expansion of US Highway 85 to a four-lane highway from Watford City to the Long X Bridge. Construction is expected to start in 2023 on this 11 mile stretch. This is the second phase in a multi-phase plan to four-lane Highway 85 from Watford City to I-94. For more information view the press release .
$10 billion investment in Bakken area from ONEOK

ONEOK officials, including its CEO, came to the Bakken earlier this month to mark the completion of the Elk Creek Pipeline and Demick's Lake gas processing plant. Since arriving in the Bakken region twelve years ago, the company has made over $10 billion worth of investments. Further it has donated over $5 million to area causes. Read more in this Williston Herald article .
February Economy at a Glance

The February Economy at a Glance is now available. Some data to note:

  • McKenzie County's oil production breakeven point dropped from $12/barrel in 2019Q3 to $8/barrel in 2019Q4.

  • City sales tax distributions for Watford City in January 2020 were over $160,000 higher than in January 2019.
Community Connections

In an effort to help connect newcomers with others in our community, there will be a McKenzie County Community Connection Open House. This free event which includes a light lunch will take place from 11:30-1:30 on March 17 and April 21, and will be at the Long X Visitors Center/Pioneer Museum located at 100 2nd Ave SW, Watford City.
Celebrating Career and Technical Education

February is Career and Technical Education awareness month. In an effort to recognize all that has been happening in our community in Career and Tech Ed, as well as strategize future opportunities, there will be an event hosted at the Watford City High School Theater on Monday, February 24, from 5:30-7:00pm. Parents and interested community members are encouraged to participate.
Alexander robotics team advances to world championship

The Alexander High School robotics team will be traveling to Detroit, MI in April to compete at the World Championship. They earned the right to compete after winning the Inspire Award at the state competition in January. They are currently raising funds for their trip. See more in this KX News report .
Addressing worldwide hunger locally

For the third year in a row volunteers will descend upon Watford City's Rough Rider Center with a goal of packing over 260,000 meals to go towards hungry people worldwide. To make the goal, 1,400 volunteers are needed to commit to a two hour shift over the three day event on March 12-14. Also to fund the project, $65,000 needs to be raised. To sign up to give of your time or resources or learn more visit the Feed My Starving Children Mobilepack web page for the Watford City event. A similar event is happening in Williston on February 20-22.
Young Professionals elections and trivia night

The Young Professionals of Watford City will be having a social and officer elections on Tuesday February 25, starting at 5pm at Stonehome Brewing Company. Introductions and elections of candidates will begin at 5:30, and folks are welcome to stick around for Stonehome trivia that starts at 6:30pm. Dues for membership are $40 per person.
Behavioral Health Summit

Local community leaders and professionals who work with those suffering from misuse of drugs or alcohol will be coming together for a Summit on Behavioral Health in Energy Country. The summit will be held April 28-30th at the Rough Rid er Center in Watford City. It is being organized by Vision West ND in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Centers.  More information, registration and sponsorship information can be found  here .
2020 Census

When one person gets missed being counted in the US Census, it is estimated that that community where that person should have been counted in loses out on over $19,100 from federal funding over the coming decade. That is because many federal programs use the community's Census count as part of the formula for determining funding amounts. With the rapid increase in population and knowing the importance of an accurate census count, our local community has brought together a diverse group of dozens of individuals to form the  McKenzie County Complete Count Committee . The committee will be kicking things into high gear as April 1--official Census day--approaches. Committee members are already meeting with oil field employees to make sure they understand the importance of the Census and what address people should be reporting themselves at.
Scholarship & loan repayment through Career Builders

The 2019 North Dakota Legislative Assembly passed House Bill 1171, creating a skilled workforce scholarship and student loan repayment program aimed at attracting people into high need and emerging occupations in the state. The result is the ND Career Builders Scholarship & Loan Repayment program . The North Dakota University System (NDUS) and institutions across the state, along with agency partners including the ND Workforce Development Council, ND Commerce Department, the Bank of North Dakota, and Job Service of North Dakota are promoting this opportunity for students, employees, and businesses. 
Sport and Rec Show

The Second Annual Rough Rider Center Rec Show will be on March 27-29. The show will feature side-by-sides, Harley's, ATV's, Boats, RVs and more. Admission is $5 and registrations are accepted until five days before the event.
Evening of Hygge

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 Evening of Hygge event will feature food, wine tasting, door prizes, board games, a special appearance from Jessie Veeder and more. It runs from 6-9pm on Saturday, February 29 at the Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County.
District Sons of Norway Convention

The Sons of Norway Fourth District (Alberta, Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan) will be having their district convention at the Rough Rider Center from June 11-13. The convention will include a vendor show, folk art competition, as well as entertainment from the Looney Lutherans and more. For more information and registration visit here .