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Standing Rock reservation might get home-building plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A home-building company aiming to supply housing for western North Dakota's booming Bakken oil patch -- where housing is lacking --wants to set up shop on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where jobs are scarce.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A home-building company aiming to supply housing for western North Dakota's booming Bakken oil patch -- where housing is lacking --wants to set up shop on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where jobs are scarce.

A home manufacturing facility in Fort Yates could bring up to 45 full-time jobs to the area, paying between $13 and $22 per hour, Rick Downs with ATechBuilder Corp. told The Bismarck Tribune. He wants to avoid locating the facility in a western city, where finding workers and housing for those workers might be problematic because of all the available jobs in the oil fields.

"There is no point for us to go over to Tioga or Stanley," Downs said. "We want to stay out of (the) Bakken and ship to the Bakken."

The cost for a 36,000-square-foot plant in Fort Yates would be about $1.5 million, Downs said. He is still looking for investors.

The homes would be built in full, finished and shipped whole from the Fort Yates facility, he said. The homes range in size from 1,100 square feet to 2,500 square feet and are designed to go onto a finished basement or crawl space. Three would be built at once, indoors, so there could be year-round production resulting in about 50 homes per year.

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The reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. There are about 2,000 people in Fort Yates and outlying communities within a 60-mile radius, said Phil Wolverton, a pastor in Selfridge and Fort Yates.

"There's so many people without jobs there," he said, adding that many have gone through construction training at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates but can't find jobs.

ATechBuilder Corp also wants to open three or four more locations in North Dakota. It already has a facility in the South Dakota city of Aberdeen. That plant is operated by the Brentwood Hutterite Colony.

Related Topics: HOUSING
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