Williston, North Dakota’s city planners are trying to lure families to the town, but sky-high real estate prices and sparse amenities have made it a tough sell. Reuters correspondent Ernest Scheyder spent a month reporting on the fracking boom, the influx of transient oil workers and what it’s all meant for a town in transition.
I'm here in Times Square ID crossroads of the world and also the global headquarters for Reuters news I spent about a month. In North Dakota the exact opposite of Times Square chronicling the natural gas and oil and -- -- Wilson is definitely a rough. Part of the country and it's going to be a tough -- to attract. People to come with their families but there's a lot of hope that it would succeed because. There's a lot of money going to this place billions and billions of dollars -- the more they can build up their physical infrastructure of the -- succeeded attractive ways. While everyone who might be kind of marvel what might be going out here. You know we're finding that the world -- interest in this story. -- to visit the town really designed for the 1950s the way it is now it's small it's quite. It doesn't know how to. Handle the current that's going on so right now as a result it's a very greedy there's dirt everywhere. Dirt caked car mr. take on clothes you know you walk into a restaurant is dirt everywhere and a lot of that is because workers. From oil fracking sites just track around and so. That's a big hallmark right now and the talent organizers really don't like that and Ali talked -- City Council and they want that gone so. One of the things that they're doing is trying to build new roads by pastors and other things to take these giant trucks out of that town. But it's a fact of life for them right now Lewiston and much of North Dakota. Does not want me in camps and to -- permanent part of the oil boom really CD's it's a temporary fix. You know for people -- we're going to be there for a few months or to house people. Because there's just no apartments or houses with what the state and local officials won it for people relocate there. Create a sense of community and spend their money there that'll help the economy they don't want people that we spend six months and go back on I talked to some Swiss bankers want to build gated communities will statements that are one concept gated communities in the middle of North Dakota. But these people. From Switzerland these investors are so convinced. That the demand will be there at the town continues to grow into the energy capital ignored that they're willing to put in my office. Express our department's right now to enter into is anywhere from 2600. To 3300. Per month. And then our average prices are homes. Starting anywhere from 278 at 320 I -- typical three bedroom two bath ranch here. That's very very high when you consider that this is the middle of North Dakota very liberal state with fewer than lean people it's not enough supply a lot of these investors that are planning on building these communities and these other. A quality of life facilities being that the more of that with things that they can build the more they can attract housewives spouses children to come up. Acie Law as being a marketing tool you can tell them you can have access to an Olympic size swimming pool anytime you want -- can go running track it's going to be. You know times have been facilities at the recreational sanitary you know if you wanna go shopping plan big ball on the -- things that people think of normally -- quality of life. If these things are there will cost him. They think that they can sort of attract people the town is definitely afraid. That spending a lot of its money's not that the -- go bust netted twice before once in the 1950s and once in the early 1980s. Within itself actually team. Into this latest. Still owing money from the 1980s because invest a lot of public infrastructure that. So that I was burned badly so that's something that the town planners are -- but. They do you think third time's the charm here if you use another five years. Blogs.