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Developers still seeking oil patch housing in tiny Fryburg

FRYBURG, N.D. — Developers aren’t giving up on plans to transform a former school building into a housing complex for oil workers in Fryburg.

The Billings County Commission in September rejected the proposal, deciding a four-story hotel with room for 318 oil patch workers would be too big for the small community. Only 20 people live in Fryburg.

Morgan Chase Management plans to present a scaled-down proposal to the county Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

The new plan is to build two three-story wings onto the old school, with rooms for 238 workers, said Richard Brown, who works for the service company. The old school building would be used for food service and training. The company also would donate a fire truck equipped with a ladder to the county, Brown said.

Although oil drilling is expected to drop, Brown believes there’s a great enough demand for worker housing to fill a facility that’s twice as big as the one his company has proposed, he said.

“The demand is not dictated by the number of rigs in Billings County. I can assure everyone out there that the funding wouldn’t be there if the need weren’t there,” Brown said.

But Zoning Administrator Stacey Swanson still thinks the proposed facility is too big for the small community. She said a 70-unit facility would be adequate.

The project, as it currently stands, is expected to cost $11.3 million.

In related news, New bypass triggers new housing for New Town.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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