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The city commission's decision to end Williston crew camps will likely face a legal battle. (Image courtesy of Target Logistics)
The city commission's decision to end Williston crew camps will likely face a legal battle. (Image courtesy of Target Logistics)

Decision to end Williston crew camps might prompt lawsuit

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A company that provides workforce housing in the western North Dakota oil patch says it will sue to continue operating crew camps in Williston.

The City Commission late last year set a July 1 deadline for the camps to shut down, and commissioners earlier this month rejected a compromise proposal to instead phase out the camps over several years. Target Logistics Regional Manager Travis Kelley told The Bismarck Tribune and the Williston Herald that oil field workers shouldn’t be forced into hotels that don’t serve meals or into apartments they don’t need most of the time, and that legal action is imminent.

“It’s going to be an ugly, long lawsuit,” he said.

Mayor Howard Klug said he is equally firm in his conviction that it’s time to end temporary housing in city limits.

“We have plenty of permanent housing here,” he said.

Klug said he is open to compromise on how quickly crew camp operators must remove the temporary units and reclaim the property, but not on the shutdown date.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council is backing the crew camp operators. President Ron Ness said he worries that when the current oil slump ends and the number of temporary workers increases again, the industry will be forced to use “camper cities” rather than professionally run, safe crew camps.

In related news, Oil industry rallies in defense of Bakken crew camps.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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