Election 2014

Question: What effect do you feel the Keystone XL Work Camp could have on Fallon County? How would you handle those impacts?

 

 

Posted May 23, 2014

 

Candidates will be asked a series of questions between now and the primary election.

Question: What effect do you feel the Keystone XL Work Camp could have on Fallon County? How would you handle those impacts?

COMMISSIONER

Deb Ranum
Deb Ranum

Deb Ranum

Fallon County officials, employees, and volunteers have been working to minimize the impact of the work camp for several years. City and county officials, employees, and volunteers have met numerous times with TransCanada representatives discussing and planning for the impacts the Work Camp may have on our community. We have taken bus tours to the Bakken area to witness the impacts. We have met with North Dakota mayors, commissioners, and volunteers to discuss how they worked to address and resolve issues. We have visited work camps in the Bakken area. The camps’ overall appearance are extremely clean, well organized, and self-sufficient.

Some of the proposed impacts are water and waste issues. Presently, we are in the process of upgrading these systems. If law and order were to become an issue, law enforcement personnel have already been increased and, if necessary, both departments have reserve officers.

My main area of concern is due to the United States Air Force proposed Powder River Training complex Expansion Plan. If this plan is approved, Life Flight Services will be severely restricted, if allowed. Medical transports will be provided by ground only. Recently, we have met with state representatives to address this issue, hopefully, the proposed training complex can be relocated.

The impact on roads are presently being addressed by resurfacing roads and replacing bridges and culverts.

 

Kevin J. Braun
Kevin J. Braun

Kevin J. Braun

In my opinion, the Keystone XL work camp will have a positive and negative impact on Fallon County. This is a rural community with folks knowing their next door neighbor and feeling secure in that fact. With an influx of 600 or more workers, the environment will change. It appears that TransCanada has assured that the camps will be generally self-contained and most workers will not need to leave that vicinity. However, in my opinion the people who follow the camp and do not live in the camp will become more of an issue than the actual workers themselves. Workers and non-workers will use the businesses and facilities in Baker. This will be an economic positive, but this will also be a negative effect for the law enforcement, hospital and clinic facilities and infrastructure in Fallon County.

How to handle these impacts would be to ensure that the county, city and residents stay updated and are aware of the status of the camp. Ensure that all companies that are involved with the pipeline and camp comply with state, county and city ordinances, taxing requirements, and licensing. The monies that are collected from licensing would assist in maintaining the roads that will be used getting to and from the pipeline and additional costs that will result from the camp. The pipeline itself is a tremendous asset to Fallon County, the state of Montana, and the Nation. The work camp is short lived economic growth and when the workers leave so will everyone else who has a connection to the camp. A plan needs to be in place for before, during, and after the work camp picks up and leaves. A reminder to please vote on June 3.

SHERIFF

Trenton Harbaugh
Trenton Harbaugh

Trenton Harbaugh

From a law enforcement stance, the influx of workers bring a potential for an increase in crime or general calls for service. I believe with a good working relationship with the work camp administration we can deal with the problem individuals swiftly as to not interrupt the course of the construction. Through impact meetings with the Keystone XL staff, it is stated that problem individuals will not be tolerated on their end and that the work camp will have internal security to deal with the day to day issues. The Sheriff’s Office would be involved with criminal issues. With the Sheriff’s Office not currently staffed as a full time (24 hour) office, I would stretch our resources to maximize the coverage. I believe continuing to be involved with Keystone coordinators will help with the understanding of the local operations. As far as the day to day impacts for law enforcement, once the camp is up and running I would continue on the philosophy we deal with whatever comes our way.

Randy R. Ketterling
Randy R. Ketterling

Randy R. Ketterling

 

In my opinion, the influx of people the pipeline would bring would definitely increase the calls for service from law enforcement officials. The criminal case load would increase as well as the need for a strong administrator to lead law enforcement in the many changes and problems Fallon County could face.

On the brighter side, the pipeline would bring an economic boost for our community and would generate taxes for the future of our community. If I am elected Sheriff, the first thing I would do is utilize all resources available to me. I believe communication with all agencies in our county, especially our County Attorney and our Commissioners; as well as our state agencies is an important factor to handle and effectively manage the increased work load from the man camp. This type of an event in a community of this size is what takes an experienced administrator to effectively handle all aspects of the pipeline along with the problems that come with it. In the past two years, I have worked in the Bakken oil boom and have experienced the problems facing the communities and their workforce. I have worked with people on the corporate level on down to the day laborers in the Bakken. I have a strong understanding and a deep appreciation for what those communities are going through. Because of my 28 years in law enforcement and my experience in the Bakken dealing and communicating with people, I believe I can be a strong and effective Sheriff for Fallon County now, during, and after the Keystone Pipeline is in our community.

 

 

COUNTY ATTORNEY

Albert R. Batterman
Albert R. Batterman

Albert R. Batterman

The Keystone XL Pipeline will further develop our local economy, broaden our labor force and service industries, and enhance our local tax base and government service. The work camp is the means to achieve these ends.

Keystone advises that the camp will be largely self-contained with its own facilities and security. Community interaction with the workers who come into the City of Baker and Fallon County will be mostly positive. However, there will be increased demands on roads, water and sewer systems, county services, a statistical increase in criminal behavior, and a period of acclimation to new faces and accents.

Preparation is the key. I am consulting with colleagues at the federal, state, and local levels to be ready myself to meet the challenges. I am helping to train city and county personnel to minimize the disruption of our community in the face of potentially explosive growth. As county attorney I will help our leaders to effectively channel growth. I will take a lead role in matters of public safety and will aggressively prosecute offenders. As an elected official, I will listen to and act on our citizens’ concerns. We will be ready to keep Fallon County safe and moving forward.

Darcy L. Pankratz
Darcy L. Pankratz

Darcy L. Pankratz

The Keystone XL work camp will have an effect on Fallon County, but we can manage the impact and capitalize on this growth for the benefit of our community. The impact will affect our infrastructures (roads, water and sewer), public services (law enforcement, emergency services, teachers, and healthcare professionals), available and affordable housing, and public amenities. Our leaders continue to educate themselves and plan and prepare our community for these potential impacts brought by area growth and the Keystone XL work camp. I have assisted the City of Baker in negotiating the contracts for funding our water and sewer infrastructure improvements with TransCanada, which is a long-term benefit.

I will continue to diligently perform my role in public safety by prosecuting individuals accused of violating the law. With the local leaders, I will seek information and ideas from other affected counties, pursue solutions and obtain available funding to address the anticipated challenges. I will do my part to communicate with the public about available opportunities so the county residents can be actively involved. The city and county agencies need to communicate and collaborate in order to turn the impacts into a benefit for our community and to keep our residents safe and informed