Long X Bridge project on track

The Long X Bridge replacement project is on schedule to have the new bridge open to traffic by late this fall. The bridge is a part of US Highway 85 and crosses the Little Missouri River. The new bridge will have four lanes as well as a wildlife underpass. Learn more in this KUMV-TV news story .
Economy at a Glance

The May Economy at a Glance is now available. Some data of note:

  • Year to date permit valuations for City of Watford City and McKenzie County are both up when comparing 2020 with 2019.

  • There was nearly a 500 employee jump from 2018 to 2019 in the Oil Extraction and Transport industry; and a nearly 1,300 jump in employment for all other industries over the same time period.
Employment, wages up for 2019

McKenzie County's total average employment for 2019 came in at 16.8% higher than the numbers in 2018, and the average weekly wage increased by 8.1%, according to recently released data from Job Service North Dakota using the Quarterly Census for Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. Further, McKenzie County had the highest average wage of any other North Dakota county. The transportation and warehousing industry had the highest average annual wage of $120,720 for McKenzie County for 2019. To see average wages and employment by industry for McKenzie County go to page 27 of this report .
Bank of North Dakota recovery programs

The Bank of North Dakota introduced two new programs to provide low-cost, long-term working capital to North Dakota businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • The Small Employer Loan Fund (SELF) provides funds for small businesses with a full-time equivalent of 10 employees or less. Businesses may receive up to $50,000 at a fixed interest rate of 1%.
  • The COVID-19 PACE Recovery Program (CPRP) addresses the needs of larger businesses. A business of 500 or fewer employees may receive up to $5 million; businesses of 501 employees or more may receive up to $10 million. The interest rate is bought down to 1% upon permanent financing. No community match, investment or jobs requirements need to be met.
For both programs:
  • The business must have been actively doing business in North Dakota on March 13, 2020 and the loan funds support North Dakota-operations only.
  • The funds may be used to support working capital needs or term out COVID-19-related bridge loans or pay for business credit card expenses originated on or after March 13, 2020.
  • Participation in the PPP does not impact a business’s ability to access these funds.
  • The loans are accessed by working with a local lender. Any applications submitted by a business owner will not be accepted.
Visit  Bank of North Dakota for more information about these programs.
Airport upgrades

Twenty four million dollars in upgrades are scheduled for the Watford City Municipal Airport this year and next. Construction is set to begin this month and is projected to be completed by October 2021. Updates will include a new navigation and lighting system, as well as a new, longer, concrete runway (6,550 feet). Learn more in this KUMV-TV news story.
Alexander High School partners with Microsoft

Alexander High School has partnered with the Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) Program to offer rigorous computer science courses to their students. To learn more about the program or about volunteering, view this document or contact Nancy at: nancy@tealsk12.org
Drone business locates in McKenzie County

iSight RPV Services has opened up shop in McKenzie County. Their impetus for locating here is a two year contract with McKenzie County to monitor gravel road conditions after rain events to allow for more timely heavy traffic open/close decisions by county officials. They also offer services such as pipeline and powerline inspections, precision agriculture support and more. Read more in this Minot Daily News article .
Local housing development featured in magazine

The River + Ranch Magazine has a feature story on Watford City's Stepping Stone community in its most recent edition. The Stepping Stone Development is a master planned community located along the Fox Hills Golf Course in Watford City.

Scholarship opportunity with University of Mary

The University of Mary, which has a campus at our Rough Rider Center, is offering a First Step Scholarship. Receive your first class free when you start a University of Mary Online program in summer or fall 2020. This promotion is available to business partners of the University of Mary. Not a partner? To learn more contact Bob Nelson at 701-609-0103 or visit their website at https://online.umary.edu/

New tourism website

Looking for day trip ideas or area attractions? Check out the newly updated website: www.visitwatfordcity.com . The site provides information on dining, sleeping, featured attractions, and area events on a new, easy-to-navigate platform.
Pick up the Patch 2020

Even though we are living in the realm of social distancing, there are still ways to help beautify our landscape. The annual Pick Up the Patch week will be happening May 18-24. There have been a few modifications to allow for social distancing, but regardless everyone who helps can still get the sense of accomplishment after helping clean up our community!
Newspaper now fully available online

As electronic options for nearly everything continue to grow, our county's official newspaper--the McKenzie County Farmer --has jumped onboard and is now offering its paper fully available online .
2020 Census response

While this year has been anything but normal, the US Census which has taken place every decade for the past 200+ years, must proceed on. There are unique challenges that our current pandemic environment presents, but regardless our community needs to do its best to get a proper count. If you or your employees haven't yet completed the 2020 census, don't delay. Visit www.my2020census.gov to complete it. For a less than one minute video of how to complete the 2020 Census click here .
New park for Watford City

The newest park in Watford City is now open. Linear Park and its outdoor fitness area provides fitness equipment stations along a two mile lighted walking trail/loop. Check it out on Fox Hills Parkway N east of the Rough Rider Center.