Sunday, December 1, 2013

Boom and Bust in North Dakota and Montana

Right now, it's boom time.

About that 1980s spike in population.   At the beginning of the oil boom in the late 1970s, local community members convinced Toby Holm's mother and father to build a 200-person trailer park to help house all of the workers flocking into the town.

"It was a huge endeavor and my mother worked until her fingers literally bled," said Holm. But the money flow stopped abruptly about five years later, and the trailer court that once boasted a 200-person per trailer waiting list was down to just five trailers. What had become a lifeline for Holm's parents was repossessed.   (From "When a Boomtown Goes Bust:  "Sudden Desertion", KPAX, 12/6/2011)

As Oil Floods Plains Towns, Crime Pours In.  (The New York Times, 11/30/2013)

Some figures presented in this article.
  • Arrests up 565%  since 2005 in Watford City, North Dakota, where the population has increased 42% since 2010 -- from 1,744 to 2,482
  • Arrests up 855% since 2005 in Roosevelt County, Montana.
  • Violent crimes  in Dickinson, North Dakota, increase from 7 to 41 in 5 years.
  • Annual pay for gas station attendants:  $50,000
  • Small apartments rent for $2,000 per month

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