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Published May 03, 2012, 09:17 AM

North Dakota oil patch getting indoor RV park

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — A Minnesota businessman has come up with a unique approach to helping ease the housing shortage in western North Dakota's booming oil patch — an indoor park for recreational vehicles.

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — A Minnesota businessman has come up with a unique approach to helping ease the housing shortage in western North Dakota's booming oil patch — an indoor park for recreational vehicles.

Chad Lekander, of Mahtowa, Minn., and a partner have formed B&H Construction Companies to build the indoor RV park south of Watford City. It will consist of 10 buildings to accommodate 240 RVs. Fargo-based NETA Property Management will oversee it.

The goal is to provide a safer, more comfortable housing option for the oil field workers who are forced to live in campers because they have nowhere else to stay, NETA President Bill Triebwasser told The Forum newspaper (http://bit.ly/ItSWp7 ).

Each ventilated building will be separated into eight bays. There will be drywall partitions to prevent fire from spreading. Each camper will have water and sewer hookups. The park also will have laundry facilities and a common gathering room.

"We're trying to provide a healthy, safe environment," Triebwasser said.

Kenan Bullinger, director of the food and lodging division at the state Health Department, said it is the first such project in the state.

"I think it's a great concept," Bullinger said.

RVs have been coming under increased scrutiny in the oil patch. Officials in Williston, the major city in the region, are considering banning them from areas that are not part of an RV park.

The first 48 units at the indoor RV park near Watford City will be available July 1, with another 48 opening each following month, Triebwasser said.

"It's basically care-free RV living," he said.

If the project is successful, the developers will look to build indoor RV parks in other areas, Triebwasser said. The developers have not finalized the rental price but say it will be less expensive than an apartment in western North Dakota and comparable to outdoor RV parks in the area. Tenants will have to sign 12-month leases.

"We're not trying to gouge," Triebwasser said. "We're trying to offer something that's obtainable and make people a little more at ease about the living situation."

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Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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