Bakken Midstream announces $400 million project

A $400 million ethane-fueled power plant has been announced by Bakken Midstream. The plant, which would reportedly be the largest ethane-based power plant in the world, will provide a local use of the natural gas that is co-produced with the area's oil wells, and is expected to bring over 100 construction jobs to the area. It is planned to be located outside of Williston. For more see this Fargo Forum article, Bismarck Tribune article or this Williston Herald article.
Upskilling local workers

In an effort to build community resiliency by diversifying the skills of the local workforce, a new local trade school has been developed in Watford City. Called Trade Ready, the school is looking for projects that will provide students with hands-on welding experience under the instruction and supervision of certified welders. In additional to structural and pipe welding, the program provides hands-on fundamentals to become a skilled, entry-level oilfield employee. In order to make a difference in the community and make the program successful, TRADE READY is looking for work in building structures that can be used in local facilities. Items that the students can make at the Watford City location include launchers and receiver skids, pipe racks, pipe supports, and pig pens. Students and instructors are also equipped to travel to locations. For more info contact Kara Glenn at or 701-580-8483.
Increased single-family housing permits

The City of Watford City ended 2020 with 36 single-family housing building permits issued. That is up from 25 in 2019 and the 0 issued in 2017. Many homebuilders in Watford City have been taking advantage of the JDA Housing Development Subsidy which was launched in mid-2019. Currently $1,550,000 of the $2,000,000 in program funds has been allocated.
January Economy at a Glance

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

  • McKenzie County unemployment ticked down slightly from 8.5% in October 2020 to 8.4% in November 2020.

  • Taxable sales and purchases for 2020Q3 is down 52% from 2019Q3 taxable sales and purchases for McKenzie County.

  • Permits for City of Watford City for 2020 was exactly the same as 2019 at 320 permits.
Federal resources and grant opportunities

Join the North Dakota Department of Commerce and GNDC for a Business Briefing on Thursday, January 21st at 1:00 PM to receive an update on federal resources and grant opportunities for North Dakota businesses. To receive call-in information, attendees must register as a non-member. A confirmation email with call specifics will be sent to the email provided in the registration prior to the call.
New liquor store

Red Barn Liquor is the newest liquor store in town. They have a mission to provide the best spirit buying experience in North Dakota. They are located on the east side of Watford City at 420 Hunters Run Street, and are open 7 days a week.
State livestock competition to come to town

Hundreds of youth livestock enthusiasts are expected to descend on McKenzie County on the weekend of March 6-7 for the North Dakota State 4-H Livestock Judging competition & Livestock Quiz Bowl. The events will be located at the McKenzie County Fairgrounds and the Rough Rider Center. Many in our community are excited to support this event and welcome folks from throughout the state.
First International Bank & Trust expands into Sioux Falls

First International Bank & Trust, headquartered in Watford City, has announced its plans for acquisition of Sodak Home Loans. This will be the first location in South Dakota for First International Bank & Trust which has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota and Arizona. See more in this Sioux Falls Argus Leader news article.
QEP donates funds for STEM equipment

QEP recently donated $25,000 towards equipment for Project Lead the Way and other STEM activities for grades kindergarten through eighth at McKenzie County School District #1.
Parks and Rec activity guide

The Watford City Parks and Recreation Department have released a new 2021 Activity Guide. The guide provides information on youth and adult programs, parks, aquatics and the Rough Rider Center.
Indoor mini golf

The Rough Rider Center will be transformed into a giant mini-golf course. Area organizations are designing unique holes that will be placed throughout the building. The course will be open January 29 from 4-9pm; January 30, family 11am-3pm; adult 5pm-9pm and from 1-5pm on January 31.

Onsite childcare provided from 5-8:30pm on January 30.
Updated economic development website

The McKenzie County Economic Development website has a new look. The new site is optimized for both desktop and mobile device viewing, with a more user-friendly format. The new site also features an archive of past newsletters and the monthly Economy at a Glance, other data and resources, and an updated relocation guide.
Lunch and Learn

Dr. Ravindra Joshi, a certified orthopedic surgeon at McKenzie County Healthcare Systems, will be presenting a Lunch and Learn about living an active and healthy lifestyle. The event will take place at noon on January 26th at the Rough Rider Center. Registration, which includes lunch, is $10, and is sponsored by the Rough Rider Center, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems and Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce.