Watford City looks to become long-term hub for families

WATFORD CITY, N.D. - Watford City's local government has many long-term plans in place, focusing its goals this year on evolving their city and making it a long-term hub for families.

Mayor Philip Riely says that other than maintaining the underground infrastructure of the city, they are working with the county to come up with a plan to make more affordable single-family homes, because apartments are within 30 percent of total capacity.

"We have young families moving here, and we don't want them to stay in the apartments. We know we can get them to stay if we can get them into a home," said Riely.

The city is also in the preliminary stages of trying to bring in a variety of retail options to the area and providing residents with more activities and annual events.

McKenzie County Economic Development Coordinator Daniel Stenberg says it's all in an effort to improve the quality of life for local people and to attract outside families to the region.

"Throughout the United States the job market is much better, and so we need to make sure that in our community we can set ourselves apart; that people will want to move here,” said Stenberg.

Another development project they are working on is runway realignment at the airport to accommodate increased operations of larger aircrafts.

Mayor Riely said: "We've talked to several larger companies that would like to make Watford City more of a hub, but honestly they want to be able to land here. They want to be able to leave here,”

The Mayor says they expect to start groundwork on affordable housing and airport plans within the next year.