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Bakken briefs for Wednesday, April 6

Bakken briefs for Wednesday, April 6

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City commission votes in favor

of extending temporary housing

Temporary housing in Tioga will remain another year following a lively exchange at a recent city commission meeting.

Representatives of apartment owners and developers lobbied to shut down two RV parks seeking one-year renewals of their conditional use permits.

The representatives reported occupancy rates of 50 percent or lower. At those rates, they said, they cannot afford to service the debts they’ve accrued building apartments.

“My understanding is conditional use is temporary,” Carrie Montoya, of Watne Realtors, said.

But the two RV park owners said they, too, have invested in developing their properties, and it’s not fair to shut down their businesses because other businesses also are struggling to recoup their investments.

All things considered, commissioners were reluctant to close temporary housing without giving more notice.

After voting to approve the one-year permits for the two parks in question, the commission agreed to set up a committee to explore the issues more fully.

— Tioga Tribune

Tioga police department down

from seven officers to four

The Tioga police department is down from seven officers to four.

Faced with falling tax revenue and a loss of payments on its industrial water sales, the city does not have plans to fill the positions.

As a result, the city’s police officers are working overtime 40 to 64 hours per month among the four of them. And with only four officers, any sick or vacation time for one officer has to be covered by the other three.

“We’re going to burn out our officers on overtime,” said Police Commissioner Ronda Davidson.

Police Administrator Jeff Spivey said demands on the police department have not been reduced as a result of the slowdown in the area.

“Our drug influx has not stopped ..... The drugs are still here. They’re coming in more now. People don’t have jobs, and they’re turning to crime,” Spivey told the commission.

He proposed using part-time officers from other agencies.

No action was taken.

— Tioga Tribune

Bakken briefs are compiled by Steve Andrist, executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association. Andrist can be reached at 701-595-7314.

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