Carrington adds new housingAs the housing crunch here grows, city officials are looking to utilize untapped land within city limits for a solution. Carrington Mayor Don Frye knows the expenses with new residential development: water, sewer, street and curb, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few blocks of new homes.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
CARRINGTON, N.D. — As the housing crunch here grows, city officials are looking to utilize untapped land within city limits for a solution.
Carrington Mayor Don Frye knows the expenses with new residential development: water, sewer, street and curb, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few blocks of new homes.
So he has at least one project under way, with more planned, that won’t require full utility expansion.
“What we’re trying to do with land developers and land entrepreneurs is utilize the infrastructure in place,” he said.
Just southeast of the intersection of N.D. Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 281 the first of three planned townhomes for seniors is going up. Frye said all six or so units are spoken for despite being unfinished.
That unit has streets and curbs in place but no water or sewer installed.
“We’re looking at putting together a tax increment financing district to help pay for that water and sewer,” Frye said.
The homes are designed for senior citizens with single-level living and garages.
The other two developments on the same plot will likely move forward in the near future, because of the demand for housing in the city.
This spring Carrington only had two housing units available for purchase.
“The housing sales aren’t any different,” Frye said of now compared to then. “What happens if somebody has a home (for sale) is word of mouth. In a lot of cases it doesn’t make it to the market.”
Also this spring another apartment building was completed with all six units filled and a waiting list for occupancy.
With the high values on farm land that borders many rural communities, some residents here are reconsidering selling empty lots in city limits for development.
“Every little spot that can be filled with a house or building is being filled,” Frye said. “... People are taking a little harder look at the property they own — rethinking their thoughts.”
Carrington has held steady population throughout the years, right around 2,100 people.
One way Frye said he can see a stable community is by looking at when housing has been built.
In every decade back to the 1960s, homes have been built here. Other rural communities have an influx one decade, and wait a few more decades before developing again, Frye said.
“Every decade you can see there’s been development in this community and it’s not something that happened accidently,” Frye said.
Expanding and new potential industries will mean housing will only get tighter as more jobs become available.
A grain elevator in Carrington, which is part of the Fessenden Co-op Association, recently underwent a $1 million expansion to keep up with increasing demand.
Viterra Pasta, also based in Carrington, continues to provide steady employment, as demand for pasta increases.
Plus two new businesses are in talk of added agriculture-based industries.
The first is a breakfast cereal plant, which could employ up to 50 people. The other plant, which is in early planning stages, would take food byproducts and make a high-value livestock feed from it.
Oil Patch traffic coming through on the way to Minot has also left other job openings in the hospitality and service industries.
“You can clearly see the oil has had an impact in our community because the motels are fairly full, and they (truckers) know when they leave here they won’t have a place to stop until Minot,” Frye said.
Gas stations have long waiting lines for diesel fuel in the morning, and a third motel just opened earlier this year.
“All these things are going forward,” Frye said of Carrington’s future.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org