Posted 12/06/16 (Tue)
By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer
On his way home from Bismarck last Thursday afternoon, Brent Sanford summarized his time as Watford City mayor in a breeze, as the challenges of the oil boom built a bright future for the small town.
From housing and daycare to infrastructure and population estimates, Watford City rocketed through some rough times to reach a feeling of normalcy today, the lieutenant governor-elect said.
“We quickly had to learn how to handle the influx of people,” Sanford said of the oil boom’s early challenges in 2010, when he began as mayor.
“We decided as a community to try to meet this employment boom with permanent growth and try to meet the growth opportunities.”
From hiring AE2S and Curt Moen for planning, tackling infrastructure needs and expanding water and sewer capacity, the city underwent a raft of updates and implementations, Sanford said, experiences that translate well for similar issues elsewhere.
“I feel like what we’ve gone through in Watford City, it’s almost like you have a case study for a lot of state programs and a lot of challenges for what a lot of communities have, all in a short amount of time for Watford City,” Sanford said, like daycare, housing and retail.
“I think that perspective is going to come in handy,” he added.
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