August 7, 2013

Wolf Run Apartments now home to its first residents

By Olivia Sundeen    
Farmer Intern

With her pink hard hat and cheery smile, Katie Walters, property manager for Wolf Run Village, walks along the site of the Wolf Run Apartments reminding workers why this project is so important.
“There is nowhere else for these people to go,” stated Walters of the housing made for teachers, law enforcement and city and county employees. “Once I tell the construction crew why this housing is being built, they understand why this project is so important.”
Last week, the Wolf Run Village got its first tenants. The first to move in was a family new to town, originally from Wyoming. The second was Jeremy and Kristy Fowler, along with their kids, Dylan and Audrey, age 8. For the past year and four months, the Fowlers have lived in Watford City in a fifth wheel.
“We’ve learned so much living in a fifth wheel,” stated Kristy Fowler, the administrative assistant for the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1.
The Fowlers have experienced quite an ordeal in their fifth wheel. In the winter, whenever the weather got into the negatives they would have to keep a de-icer inside because the door would get frozen shut.
“If you’ve done a winter in North Dakota in a fifth wheel,” stated Jeremy, “you’ve really done something.”
Walters, who has been overseeing this project since day one, feels it is so rewarding.
Rent for a two bedroom apartment is $875 a month and $726 for a one bedroom, making it affordable family housing.
“Sometimes it gets frustrating,” stated Walters. “This project has been in the works for two years. To see the end result in sight and see the look of the tenants like the Fowlers when they first see their new home is so rewarding.”
And that it was. Upon seeing the place they will now call home, the Folwers were ecstatic and most of all, grateful.
Lots of hugs, smiles and excited observations took place.
“Is this really ours?”
“We have a porch!”
“We have a real-sized fridge!”
“Mom, we have water pressure!”
“Wow, this is awesome!”
The ohs and awes continued in what seemed to be never-ending excitement.”
“You don’t know how much you take for granted until you have to move into something small,” stated Jeremy.
To the Folwers, their new 1,000-square foot apartment seems like a mansion.
“I just want to say thank you McKenzie County,” stated Jeremy. “This is awesome.”
Walters was ecstatic with their reaction.
“It all came together,” stated Walters. “I’m so happy the Folwers are happy.”
New tenants will continue to move in from now until sometime in October.
“It is our hope to have all of the apartments done and people moved in by October,” stated Walters. “As with every project, little things come up. But we are continuing to work hard and have no reason to think otherwise.”
Not only is Walters excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, she couldn’t contain her excitement in revealing that Wolf Run has been accepted for the Housing Grant. This will provide $1,483,231 with $845,441 coming from matches. Basically, this is a state tax credit.
“It’s a way for us to tell the state we want this money to go right back to our community,” stated Walters. “Every little bit helps.