Jessie Veeder at TEDx

At a recent TEDxBismarck event, Jessie Veeder described her decision to move back to Watford City/McKenzie County and how she is finding fulfillment in her home community. The video is now available: " Making a Living out of Life: The Story of Home."
Helms calls Bakken a five-generation play, predicts increase in oil prices

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Western Dakota Energy Association, Lynn Helms, Director of the ND Department of Minerals Resources, anticipates $55-$60/barrel oil for the first quarter of 2018. "This is a five-generation oil play," he said speaking of the North Dakota oil industry. "This has changed the state of North Dakota for generations. Our grandchildren's grandchildren will be affected by this. We want to take a very long view on how we approach this thing" as reported by the Dickinson Press.

View the slides from Helm's presentation here.
Design award for Watford City High School

JLG Architects was awarded the top Honor Award from the North Dakota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for their Watford City High School project. The awards were presented at the annual AIA North Dakota Awards Conference in Fargo "for distinguished accomplishments in design and the profession of architecture."

View more photos of the school and Rough Rider Center by Chad Ziemendorf.
November Economy at a Glance released

The local and regional economy continues to progress according to numbers in the November Economy at a Glance. One new number included is oil production breakeven points for McKenzie County. For that the point dropped from $22/barrel in 2017Q2 to $18/barrel in 2017Q3.

Watford City post office relocates, expands

Seeking to meet the expanded needs of the community, the Watford City post office has moved into a 9,000-square-foot building which now includes nearly 3,000 post office boxes and 16 sections of parcel lockers. See more in this Williston Herald article.

The post office is located at 1204 4 th Avenue NE, Watford City.
Nursing home expansion

Local nursing home residents have a new facility to call home. This is the first stage completed of the $75+ million McKenzie County Healthcare System's expansion project. The rest of the project (hospital and clinic) is expected to be completed next year. Pictured is one of the three community rooms of the nursing home facility.
Marcil: Housing costs affordable; incomes higher than average

“We have seen a significant pick up in activity in Watford City over the past 12 months and now that crude is approaching the magic $60 per barrel number we anticipate things will get very busy in the spring,” says Mike Marcil in a Crude Life Column article found at Bakken.com. Marcil oversees 209 rental units in Watford City, and business interest in a number of other Bakken companies including Orange Property Management and Homestead Property Management.

According to a survey commissioned by one of Marcil's companies, multi-family rental prices bottomed in 2016 at $850 to $950 per month, and rental occupancy in Watford City increased from 68% to 79% over the past 12 months. Marcil continues, “Right now, I believe there is a great opportunity that people are not aware of in that market. Rents are beyond affordable and incomes are higher than average.”
Miss America returns to North Dakota

North Dakota's first Miss America, Cara Mund, came back to Williston where she was crowned Miss North Dakota earlier this summer. She addressed elementary students, telling them of the doubters who told her she wouldn't get into an Ivy League college, let alone become Miss America. Both once dreams, now reality for her, she encouraged kids to dream big too. Read more in the Williston Herald.
Highest percentage of millennials in ND

As reported by KFGO, the North Dakota Census Office reports that North Dakota has the highest percentage of millennials in the nation. Further our state has been younger than the national average since 2009, one attributing factor is the increase in the number of children under the age of five, due to the in-migration of those of child-bearing age.

As can be seen from the above graph, McKenzie County's median age has trended lower than North Dakota's for the past six years and is considerably lower than the United States. For 2016, McKenzie County's median age was at 30.8 while it is 37.9 for the United States as a whole.
Golf course expansion

Watford City's Fox Hills Golf Course is expanding to 18 holes. See more in this McKenzie County Farmer article snippet.
Watford City High School receives DECA charter

A new extracurricular option is now available at Watford City High School when it received its DECA charter this fall. DECA is a leadership organization for students at the high school or college level with an interest in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Programs exist in 21 of North Dakota high schools and career and technology centers as well as 8 colleges and universities.
Community betterment grants available

  • Up to $50,000 will be distributed through the North Dakota Tourism Main Street Expansion Grant. Grants are for new or expanding businesses that provide an improved visitor experience, with an emphasis on attracting visitors to a city or town’s downtown core. Applications due Dec 1, 2017.


  • The North Dakota Department of Transportation Transportation Alternatives Grants include project categories of Bicycle and Pedestrian; Scenic and Environmental; and Historic. Applications due Dec 31, 2017.

  • The Ford Family Foundation's Community Building Spaces Grant offers funding for the development of public spaces that encourage civic participation, community collaboration and other ways of bringing residents together for the well-being of the community. Applications are open.

Check out the upcoming events listed on our community calendar , like the Chamber of Commerce's Parade of Lights on November 24!
View past issues of the monthly update here.