Williston City Commission grants crew camp operators extension for removal of buildings

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The Williston City Commission has extended the deadline for crew camp operators to remove the buildings that will be empty by the end of the month.

The closing of crew camps has been an issue for almost a year. Finding a win-win situation has been difficult.

“We started working on this right after the first of this year,” said Williston Mayor Howard Klug.

Commissioners unanimously adopted the first reading of an ordinance that gives crew camps more time to find a new purpose or move out of the buildings they used to house workers.

“There was a compromise in the back of my mind that we were going to allow them more time,” said Klug.

The ordinance requires crew camp buildings to be removed by May 1, 2018. And the sites must be reclaimed by Aug. 1 of that year. The original deadline was Sept. 1 of this year.

“I always felt that from July to September was too short of a time. I wanted to make sure there was an adequate period for everything to be considered,” said Klug.

The change came about because some companies said it could take millions of dollars to move the buildings out so quickly.

“I have always said once our housing caught up, we don’t want to be a temporary town,” said Klug

The ordinance will go through a second reading before it is approved.

The case regarding the July 1 end date for crew camps within the city limits is pending in federal court.