June 2, 2010

Study will help Watford City grow

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

With new trailer parks, RV parks, businesses and subdivisions being planned around Watford City, one question remains unanswered. What is the best way for Watford City to grow? A question that will hopefully be answered very soon.
In order to get the answers they need, the Watford City City Council and the McKenzie County Commission have hired an engineering firm to conduct a study of Watford City and McKenzie County.
“The study will look at the city and its surrounding area and give us the best course of action for growth,” says Brent Sanford, Watford City City Council member. “The study will let us know what our infrastructure can handle as well as what the city would need to do in order to handle growth.”
With several new structures and facilities planned for just outside the city limits, the council and commission decided they needed to do something to make sure that Watford City continues to be an attractive place.
“We need to plan outward,” says Sanford. “With the large amount of work being done around town, this is the right time to have someone come in and give us our options.”
One option would be annexation, which would essentially push the boundaries of Watford City farther out. The other option being considered is to have the McKenzie County Commission implement some zoning laws.
“The reason most people build outside of the city limits is because they don’t want to be under the city’s zoning laws,” adds Sanford. “However, as a city, we need to protect the area surrounding the city limits in order to keep the town looking attractive to prospective businesses.”
McKenzie County has never had any zoning laws and the commission isn’t looking at zoning the entire county. However, if the study warrants, the commission may enact zoning laws in the area immediately outside Watford City’s city limits.
“The study is expected to be completed in early June,” says Sanford. “So, we should have some answers soon.”