Montana manufacturing is on a roll. The Keystone XL pipeline could nearly double the revenue for Dawson County, Montana. Amtrak- the Bakken commuter train. And- New York City? The rent is higher in North Dakota than New York City? Yes, in parts, but Rob Port says local officials shoulder some of the blame. All that and more is included below.
Big Sky Business Journal “Hot Sheet:” Manufacturing on a Roll
Montana manufacturing is on a three-year growth trend and it appears that trend will continue through 2014.
Over the three-year period, manufacturing employment has grown 12 percent, to more than 22,100 workers in 2013, according to data from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER).
More than 90% of manufacturers in a survey conducted by BBER said they expect to keep their workforce in 2014, with many predicting increased employment.
Montana Media Trackers: Keystone XL Could Double County Revenue
In interviews last week with both the Glendive Ranger Review and “The Voices of Montana” with Aaron Flint, Dawson County Commissioner Jim Skillestad discussed how the Keystone XL Pipeline could nearly double the budget of the cash-strapped Eastern Montana county.
“The lowest figure I’ve seen is from $9 million per year up to $16 million per year in direct payments to Dawson County for 25 years,” Skillestad told Jason Stuart of the Glendive Ranger Review. “Nothing like this has ever happened to Dawson County.”
What’s the current budget for Dawson County? About $19 million.
By the way, to listen to the second half of Voices of Montana from the GATE show- click here to go to the podcast page.
Passenger traffic from the Williston, N.D. station increased more than 215 percent during the past decade, from 16,196 passengers in federal fiscal year 2003 to 51,076 passengers in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
Passenger traffic from Williston’s train station, which underwent a $1.5 million upgrade in 2010, has dropped off from the record high of 54,324 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012, as the housing supply in Williston improved.
The rapidly growing North Dakota oil patch city of Williston has the highest average rent in the United States, a national study from an apartment renting guide shows.
A 700-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Williston costs an average of $2,394 a month, according to Apartment Guide, an online website for apartment hunters. The same apartment would cost $1,504 in the New York area, $1,411 in the Los Angeles area or $1,537 in the Boston area, the Williston Herald reported.
SayAnythingBlog.com: Local Officials Deserve Some Blame For High Rents In Oil Patch
But there are some local policies that have contributed to the housing log jam. “Officials in the heart of the North Dakota oil patch are continuing their efforts to rid the area of temporary housing,” reported the Associated Press back on February 8th, describing the decision by Williams County (Williston) to shoot down two permits for temporary housing.
“After month of behind-the-scenes work, Williams County has begun to initiate a plan to reduce the number of temporary housing units in the county,” reported the Williston Herald back in June of 2013.
Even as demand for housing drove housing prices through the roof, local officials in the oil patch have fought a war against temporary housing. This has put a tremendous amount of pressure on the market for permanent housing (apartments, homes, etc.).