I have written several blog posts where I stated that one of the reasons why I wanted to remain in Dickinson, is to see everybody get what is coming to them. Local people took advantage of the out-of-state workers tremendously, gouging them on housing and quadrupling the rent in Dickinson. Now that the oil boom is over, I wanted to see everybody who tried to get rich by taking advantage of other people, get what is coming to them.
In my mind, the epitome of the property owners and property developers who were trying to get rich by taking advantage of the out-of-state workers, was the Roers family. In 2013, I remember a friend of mine, an electrician named Dwayne, telling me that he had worked on the construction of the Roers West Ridge Apartments. He said that the rent for these apartments was $2,000 to $3,000 per month. My friend Dwayne, he was sleeping in his Jeep Liberty at the Tiger Truck stop and at vacant lots around Dickinson for about six months, he didn’t make enough money to afford what they were charging for rent in Dickinson.
Back in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 uninformed people, ill-intentioned people, and liars, used to like to repeat the phrase, “Everybody is making $100,000 per year in the oil field.” This was far from being true. This false statement, was used as justification to take advantage of the people who came from out-of-state to work in Dickinson, and as justification to quadruple the rent.
The people who did make over $50,000 per year in Dickinson, about 95% of them did so by working 30 to 40 overtime hours per week, week after week. I don’t know how many of you readers have done this, working 30 to 40 hours of overtime per week, for many weeks in a row, it is a big personal sacrifice and hardship. You barely have time to eat before you have to go to sleep, but you still have to do grocery shopping, wash dishes, wash clothes, and pay bills. Everything in your own personal life gets neglected.
I hate it, and I am angry about it, that property owners and property developers felt entitled and justified in trying to fleece working people who were trying to get ahead financially by making the personal sacrifice of working 30 to 40 hours of overtime every week.
To me, the following story from the Dickinson Press Newspaper, is like the hand of God coming down and shoving the Roers family faces in shit:
Dickinson works on fixing problems with West Ridge Drive, by Grady McGregor, October 4, 2017
“The nearly mile-long road on Dickinson’s northwest side connects 30th Avenue West with about a dozen businesses including Menards, Wells Fargo and Buffalo Wild Wings. The road was completed in 2013 as part of Roers Development’s West Ridge Development, but city officials have noticed problems with the road that may call for costly repairs, if not complete reconstruction, of the concrete road.
City Engineer Craig Kubas said the city was first made aware of problems with the road almost immediately after it was constructed when they noticed water valves along the road were settling deeper into the ground than initially expected.
City residents complained in 2015 that manhole covers were rising out of the road, which could be potentially hazardous to users and present problems to snowplows in the winter….
One option is to rebuild the entire road at a cost of over $4 million. Another option is to hire a company to inject foam into voids beneath the road to stabilize them, Kubas said. The third option is to do nothing and patch problem areas as they pop up, but this option would be inefficient and could cause problems in winter months, Kubas said.”
If you do not believe me that the $2,000 to $3,000 per month rent for the West Ridge Apartments was gouging back in 2013, why are these rents $800 per month now?