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County to write off over $400,000 in bad debt

Posted 1/09/19 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

McKenzie County could be looking at writing off over $400,000 in bad debt from a number of companies that purchased gravel and scoria, as well as utility and approach permits from the county’s public works department. Many of those accounts date back to 2010 when oil activity first escalated in the county.
According to Kathy Skarda, vice chairman of the McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners, she first became aware of the bad debts in July of 2018, when Tim Pickering with the public works department contacted her and asked what they should  do with the past due accounts.
“I believe that the total of past due accounts was close to $900,000 at that time,” stated Skarda. “That’s money that we should have received.”
Suhail Kanwar, county public works administrator and county engineer says that part of the problem in collecting payment on those early charges was that the county was struggling with hiring and retaining employees during the initial boom in oil activity. As a result, he says that statements weren’t always being sent to companies.

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