Tag Archives: economy in Dickinson North Dakota

Lies About Dickinson, Lies About Real Estate, And Banks Betting Against Dickinson

About one week ago, I wrote a blog post about all of the crime and drug dealing at the apartment building where I live in downtown Dickinson almost causing me to move.  I don’t want to live here, I would like to get out, but I don’t think that I could escape the drug problem by moving to a more expensive apartment building in Dickinson, the occupancy rates are so low at the new apartment buildings, that they will rent to anyone.

This past week, I began looking at the real estate multiple listings for properties in this area, and I found one that was very low priced in Belfield, North Dakota, which is 24 miles west of Dickinson.

This property, which I will give the details of below, was perfectly fine with me, though many people would not find it appealing.  You have to keep in mind, that my first year in Dickinson back in 2011 during the oil boom, I slept in a 1978 truck bed camper, and I took showers at the company where I worked, or at the Tiger Truck stop.  My second year back in Dickinson in 2013, I slept in an enclosed utility trailer that was 7 ft x 14 ft, with no water and no sewer connections.  In 2011 and 2013, I was very cold when the temperature was below 0 degrees Fahrenheit outside, while trying to live in a camper with one electric heater.

The property that I saw in the Dickinson real estate multiple listing guide last week that interested me, was a 3 br, 1 ba, 1,000 square foot manufactured home on a 75 ft x 140 ft owned lot, for $25,000.  According to the website Realtor.com, for a 30 year mortgage at 6% apr, the combined monthly payment for the mortgage, property tax, and insurance would be $106 per month, total.

Because I can’t park my equipment trailers and some of my vehicles at the apartment where I live now, my combined storage and rent payment is $500 per month.  Which is better, $500 per month to live in an apartment building with drug dealers and crime, or $106 per month to live in your own home, on your own land?

$25,000 is pretty cheap for a 3 br, 1 ba home on its own lot, for this area, or for any area.  From 2009 to 2015 during the oil boom, the rent for this manufactured home would have been $2,000 per month, which equals $24,000 per year.

I went and looked at this manufactured home, inside and out, on Friday of last week, and I took a video of it which I will show below.  I liked this manufactured home, it was fine with me, the yard, the outside, and the inside.  On the good side, it is fully furnished, and all of the furniture, washer and dryer come with it.  On the bad side, the roofing shingles on the south side are cupped, and will have to be replaced.  A new roof will cost about $5,000.

The real estate agent was pleasant and professional.  He told me that the property had been purchased by a company that needed to provide a place for three workers to live, but now that this company no longer does business in North Dakota, they just want to sell this property.  Other prospective buyers had offered to make a large cash down payment, and make monthly payments to the property owner, but all of these offers were declined.  The company wants to receive complete payment at one time, and be done.

A little over a year ago, I received a mortgage application package to complete from Dakota Community Bank where I have an account.  When I spoke to the loan officer again at Dakota Community Bank on this past Friday, she said that Dakota Community Bank will no longer lend money on any manufactured home whatsoever, no matter how new it is, or how much owned land is involved.  Later I had a short discussion about a personal loan using my vehicles as collateral, but most of these vehicles are not in North Dakota, and their value would be assessed at wholesale trade-in value, which is nothing.

I talked to someone at ENG Lending in Dickinson, and their policy is that they will loan money on a new manufactured home at the dealer, but not on a used manufactured home.  I spoke to a loan officer at Gate City Bank in Dickinson, and they said that they looked up this property, and would not loan money on this property because the area that it was in was zoned commercial.  I suspect that Gate City Bank was just looking for a reason to excuse themselves from lending on an older manufactured home.

I was told that I would have a high likelihood of getting a loan from the bank in Belfield where the home is located, Choice Financial.  I went to Choice Financial Bank on Friday last week, discussed this with loan officers, but they have not called me back.  I don’t think that they can do anything with an older manufactured home either.

In a way, this whole process was funny and unbelievable to me.  All throughout Dickinson, all of the business owners, real estate agents, property managers, property investors, business people, financial people, and bankers, like to talk and make announcements about how the economy in Dickinson is booming, growing, expanding, and taking off.   Yet all of the bank owners have so little faith in the economy in Dickinson, that they have issued instructions that no loans are to be made on manufactured homes even if they are on owned land.

The other thing that is kind of funny and absurd to me, is that this property is not 3 times my annual income, not 2 times my annual income, but ½ of my annual income.  In many parts of the U.S., people are getting home loans, where the cost of the home is 3 to 4 times the person’s annual income.  Yet in Dickinson, I can’t get a loan to buy a home on owned land, that is ½ of my annual income.  Or, I could probably be approved to buy a new car in Dickinson for $35,000, a car, whereas I can not get a loan for a lesser amount, for a 3 br, 1 ba home, where I would live, for less money than I have been paying for rent the past four years.

I could put the whole $25,000 purchase on my credit cards, I receive credit card checks that I can use just like a regular check with no discount to the recipient.  But my interest rate would be 18%, which is about $4,500 per year in interest alone.  Why would I want to pay about $375 per month, just in interest?

I discussed with the real estate agent, making a cash offer for $18,000.  The real estate agent said that this proposal had already been made to the property owner, he refused, he will accept nothing less than $25,000.

The real estate agent, each of the bank loan officers, the other bank personnel, and the Stark County personnel that I spoke to in the past several days, were all pleasant, polite, and professional.  I like this manufactured home, it is fine with me, I can afford it, I don’t mind paying the asking price, and I don’t mind living in Belfield.  I just could not get financing.

There were many other people who also wanted to buy this manufactured home, on its own 75 ft x 140 ft lot.  The loan payments on this property, would be lower than just about anything you could rent in this area, even lower than the rent on an old studio apartment.  However, no one could get a loan, the owner would not accept a large down payment and finance it, nor would the owner accept cash payment for a lesser amount.

I got a lot of insight from this.  No matter what the talk is on the street, in the newspapers, and on television about how well the economy in Dickinson is doing, the people with money, the people who know what is really going on, are not about to loan money on manufactured homes, even manufactured homes on owned land, for at least three reasons.

One, they expect the economy in Dickinson to decline, people to continue to lose their jobs, and they expect people to default on their home loans.  Two, with the economy in Dickinson declining, and people defaulting on their home loans, who are they going to get to buy a foreclosed manufactured home, or who are they going to get to rent a foreclosed manufactured home?  Three, with the economy in Dickinson declining, wealthy people and bank owners do not want to be stuck owning multiple manufactured home properties that people have defaulted on, these things will be worth pennies on the dollar there are going to be so many vacancies in Dickinson.

Think about this, on the other hand, if the bank owners and the people with money in Dickinson, truly believed that the economy in Dickinson was expanding, they would not hesitate to make loans on manufactured homes on owned land, for at least three reasons.

One, with more job openings expected in Dickinson, people would not be losing their jobs and defaulting on their home loans.  Two, so what if someone defaulted on their home loan while the economy was growing, it would be easy to find someone else to buy or rent a foreclosed manufactured home.  Three, so what if someone defaulted on their manufactured home loan when the economy was expanding, the value of manufactured homes on owned property would be going up and up, who wouldn’t want to own assets that are appreciating in value?

At this point, I don’t care, I am done trying to work this purchase out.  I will just sit back and watch this manufactured home not sell, and continue to decline in value.  I don’t care if someone else finds a way to purchase this home, to live in, or to own this home as an investment and rent it out.  I have nothing against this home, I like it, but it will need a new roof soon.  Here is the video, if you want to make an offer on this home, just look on any real estate site for Belfield, North Dakota.


Do Not Get Over Excited About Moving To North Dakota In 2018

In the past several years, I have written many blog posts where I try to get the information out there, that there are false rumors and misinformation being spread about the need for workers in North Dakota, in order to lure people here.

Business people in North Dakota habitually try to talk up the economy, making broad exaggerations, making things up, and sometimes lying.  Business people, politicians, news media, and ordinary citizens, repeat back to each other, what they have heard, but very few people hardly ever take the time to see if what they are saying is true.

It is so frustrating to me, the reality of what is going on in Dickinson, North Dakota, versus what people in Dickinson are saying and talking about.

Since the oil boom ended in North Dakota in 2015, I have seen a net decrease in the amount of businesses in Dickinson, a net decrease in the number of residents, an increase in homes for sale, an increase in apartments for rent, an increase in trailer park vacancies, an increase in vacancies in commercial and retail buildings, real estate prices have gone down, people have been unable to sell their homes, rent prices have gone down, and there are fewer job advertisements.

Just a few highlights are, Delta airlines ceased operations at the Dickinson airport due to lack of customers and lack of profitability, and United airlines tried to cease operations at the Dickinson airport due to lack of customers and lack of profitability.  The government prevented United airlines from leaving the Dickinson airport due to an “essential air services” rule.

Sears has closed, JC Penny has closed, Herbergers department store is closing soon, and the Prairie Hills mall has recently been sold.  The two largest stores in the Prairie Hills mall were JC Penny and Herbergers.  For the stores like Sears, JC Penny, Herbergers, Hobby Artz, and Radio Shack that have closed, there have not been any new or different stores to open to replace these stores.

A few other businesses that have closed in Dickinson were Total Workforce Solutions staffing company, Evolution Gym, Pita Pit restaurant, Wildcat Pizza, several small business in the downtown business district, and more than several local construction and contracting companies.  The Elks Lodge was forced to downsize, they sold the upstairs to their own building, and moved into the basement of their building.

Even though the population of Dickinson has decreased, many businesses have closed and not been replaced by new or different businesses, many local companies have closed and not been replaced by new or different companies, there are many vacancies in residential and commercial properties, and there are fewer job advertisement listings, the people in Dickinson walk around talking about how things are taking off.

I looked at the North Dakota Job Services job listings for Dickinson today.  I counted about thirty-two job listings posted in the month of April so far up until today, April 23.  Of these thirty-two job listings for Dickinson, twelve of these job listings were for certified medical professionals like nurses, mammography technicians, and radiology technicians.  This leaves twenty non-medical job listings for the month of April in Dickinson.  Eight of these remaining jobs were low paying retail type jobs.

I then went and looked at the job listings for Dickinson, North Dakota on the website Indeed.com.  On Indeed.com, there were roughly twice as many job listings, as what North Dakota Job Services had.  There were roughly fifty to sixty job listings posted in the month of April so far, on Indeed.com.  Approximately ten of these jobs were low paying such as customer service, retail, and food service workers.  Approximately ten of these jobs were part time or seasonal.  Approximately ten of these jobs were sales type jobs where an applicant is led to believe that there is potential to earn good pay, but it never works out that way.  (You might not know what I mean about bullshit sales jobs unless you or your friends have done these jobs, where you never receive sales commissions.)

On Indeed.com, there were about fifteen jobs posted for Dickinson, North Dakota, in the month of April, that were good paying oil field, trades person, or professional type jobs.  However, these fifteen good paying jobs, required specialized experience, knowledge, or education, such as a commercial driver’s license, degree as an engineer or engineering technician, or being an experienced heavy equipment operator.

My point in writing this blog post, is not just to explain why I am annoyed that people in Dickinson persist in repeating information that is not true about things in Dickinson taking off, I want to explain that this luring people here by telling them that there is a huge need for workers, is going to cause problems and hardship for people.

As I explained about the job listings posted for the month of April on Indeed.com, there were about fifteen jobs that were good paying jobs, but they required specialized experience, knowledge, or education.  What are people in Dickinson trying to do, what are people in North Dakota trying to do, telling the world that there is a great need for workers, and high paying jobs, when this is not the case?

People are going to move to North Dakota, possibly bringing their families with them, because they heard about all of the jobs, and the high paying jobs.  When they get here, and can’t get a job, or can only get a low paying job, what is going to happen, what are they going to do, what are they supposed to do?  You don’t really care, or give a shit, do you?  You just like talking every day about how things are really booming in Dickinson.

Dickinson North Dakota Is In A Transition Period

It may be obvious to most of the people who are living here, that Dickinson, North Dakota is going through a transition period.  However, people who live elsewhere in the United States have no way of knowing what is happening in Dickinson right now.

Dickinson, North Dakota experienced an Oil Boom that occurred from 2007 through 2014.  This was Dickinson’s third Oil Boom.  The first Oil Boom took place in the 1950s, and it was due to the discovery of oil in North Dakota.  The second Oil Boom occurred from approximately 1978 through 1983.  This third Oil Boom was due to advances in hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling technologies that allowed more profitable oil extraction in North Dakota.

What killed this third Oil Boom in North Dakota, was the price of oil dropping from over $100 per barrel down to $40 per barrel.  When the price of oil was over $80 per barrel, it was profitable for oil companies to perform exploration, lease oil well sites, drill, and produce oil.  When the price of oil was down around $40 per barrel, oil companies didn’t even want to pump very much of this oil out of the ground because they wouldn’t be making any profit from it.

Supposed reasons for the price of oil going from over $100 per barrel down to $40 per barrel, were over-production and over-supply in the U.S.  It is more likely that the over-supply of oil and the price drop was due to intentional flooding of the oil market by OPEC producers in the Middle East.

The number of operating drill rigs in North Dakota went from over 200 during the Oil Boom, to less than 50 currently.  Many oil field jobs went away.  Less surveying, less road work, less site work, fencing, cattle guards, containment barriers, tank batteries, water hauling, sand hauling, drilling, directional drilling, fracturing, casing, wireline, work over, pump jacks, automation, controls, tanks, pipelines, welding, mechanics, electricians, roustabouts, truck drivers, less everything.

By the end of 2016, I would say that 60% to 80% of the oil field jobs had gone away.  Most of the out-of-state workers returned to the states where they came from.  It was not just that most of the oil field workers lost their jobs, could not get a replacement job, or could not get a job with overtime hours like they used to have, it was that all of the oil field workers knew that they could not afford the cost housing in North Dakota, and it was not very pleasant living in North Dakota because it was cold, there was no where to go, nothing to do, and there was a shortage of women.

Even by the end of 2014, after many new large apartment complexes and new hotels had been constructed in Western North Dakota, the cost of housing was still very high.  In Dickinson, even up until the end of 2015, there was a large extended stay hotel on I-94 that had a banner advertisement on their building for rooms starting at $700 per week.

There was a lie going around the United States that everyone working in the oil field was making over $100,000 per year.  This was far from being true.  In the more than five years that I have lived here, I have only met three people who made more than $100,000 per year working in the oil field.

The $700 per week for the extended stay hotel room, most workers in Dickinson, who worked in retail, fast food, restaurants, or service industry, did not have a take home pay of $700 per week.  The semi-skilled workers, construction workers, laborers, and roustabouts, had a take home pay of about $700 per week after taxes.  This led to people sleeping in their cars at WalMart, sleeping in a tent in people’s backyards, and sleeping in the bushes where they could.  This is not an exaggeration, I know all about this, myself and my friends lived like this.

Some of the cheapest old one-bedroom apartments, if you could even find one, rented for $1,500 per month, with one month’s rent security deposit, first month’s rent, and last month’s rent due at lease signing, that’s $4,500 due up front.  Most of the workers who came to North Dakota did so out of economic desperation, and they didn’t have $4,500, which led to them sleeping in their cars at WalMart, the truck stop, etcetera.

I am re-telling all of this now, to paint the picture of why everyone who came to work in Western North Dakota during the Oil Boom, was so ready to leave when the Oil Boom was over.  It was not just about jobs going away, it was about how unpleasant and difficult it had been living in North Dakota.

The lie had been told that everyone working in the oil field was making over $100,000 per year, in order to lure an abundance of workers to Western North Dakota, most of whom would be paid less than $16 per hour.  These workers would fill the retail, fast food, restaurant, hospitality, and service worker jobs, but they would also fill every house, apartment, basement, cabin, trailer, hotel, and motel.

When the Oil Boom was over, all of the local people, the business owners and the property owners said, “Oh, it’s coming back.  Hold on now, it’s coming back.”  The kind of lying that got people from all over the U.S. to come to North Dakota looking for work, was now being done to try to keep everyone from leaving.  But the Oil Boom didn’t come back, it was over.

By 2017, the occupancy rates at the newly completed large apartment complexes and the old apartment buildings, was approximately 50% or less.  The occupancy rates at the RV parks, hotels, and motels, was approximately 20% or less.  Rents began to decrease quite a bit, as there became competition amongst property owners and property managers to get tenants into their buildings.  Home prices decreased also.

By 2016, some of the non-oil field businesses in Dickinson that I recall closing were, Wild Cat Pizza, Hobby Artz, Superior Laundry, The Pita Pit, and Evolution Fitness.  By the end of 2017, some additional businesses that closed were Sears, JC Penny, one Family Fare grocery store location, Total Workforce Solutions, and the Elks Lodge vacated the upstairs of their own building to move into their basement.

By 2016, some of the few restaurants in Dickinson that had previously been open 24 hours, ceased staying open past midnight.  For a time in 2016, all of the grocery stores and WalMart in Dickinson no longer stayed open 24 hours.  Now WalMart does stay open 24 hours most of the time.

In 2016, many local young people who had graduated from high school in Dickinson or Dickinson State University during the Oil Boom and found employment right away, now had to move out of state to find employment in Montanna, South Dakota, Colorado, and Arizona.

By 2016, many entrepreneurs who had moved to Dickinson to start a business or a service during the Oil Boom, began closing down in order to move away and start over again in another state.  By the end of 2017, there appeared to me to be another wave of entrepreneurs shutting down in Dickinson, to move away and start over elsewhere.

What inspired me to write this particular blog post about Dickinson going through a “Transition Period” right now, are two things.  Three of the most visible and active members of the Dickinson community, three entrepreneurs, have recently announced on Facebook that they are moving away.

For these three people, I thought that Dickinson was their life-long home, they were so entrenched in everything, and so active in everything.  It wasn’t until I read that they were leaving, and I then looked into everything that they were doing recently, that I realized that they had been trying to earn money doing several different jobs outside of what they normally do, in order to make money.  I didn’t know that they were struggling, because I wasn’t paying attention.

In 2016 and 2017, I had to work at several different jobs outside of my normal job, in order to make enough money.  Some of these jobs were physical labor jobs 12 hours per day, every day, for weeks.  Some of these jobs were physical labor jobs for 15 hours per day, with an additional 2 hours of drive time each day.  So I can understand that these three entrepreneurs were having a shortfall of money in Dickinson, because I have too, but I didn’t know that it had come to the point that they have to move away.

The second thing that inspired me to write this blog post about this “Transition Period” in Dickinson right now, is the theft and crime.  In 2017, in Dickinson, there has been so much theft, crime, and drug overdoses.

In Dickinson this past year, there has been a great deal of vehicle, trailer, equipment, and tool thefts, again, and again.  Thefts from businesses, homes, job sites, garages, and parked vehicles.  Dickinson had very little theft prior to the Oil Boom, and even during the Oil Boom up until 2016.  The theft in Dickinson now, is comparable to what goes on in a very bad neighborhood in Phoenix, Tampa, or Dallas.

There have been many drug overdoses in Dickinson this past year, with several fatalities.  I can’t remember hearing about this amount of drug overdoses and fatalities during the Oil Boom, or anywhere else that I have ever lived.

What I think that the correlation is, between everything that I have described in this blog post, is that so many jobs have gone away in Dickinson, that people have coped by moving away immediately, moving away after trying to wait, moving away after trying to work additional jobs, staying and continuing to work multiple jobs, and other people cope by stealing and using illegal drugs.

Very, Very Strange And Upsetting Feeling In Dickinson, North Dakota This Week

Even though things are going O.K. for me personally in Dickinson, North Dakota right now, I am sensing that something is very wrong in Dickinson.  It is like there is so much pain, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, anger, bad thoughts, and bad intentions, that I can’t help but feel that something is very wrong.

If a psychiatrist or psychologist would analyze my thoughts on this, they would likely say one of three things:  1)  You are projecting, inferring, or attributing your own thoughts and feelings onto other people;  2)  You are witnessing actual events and real happenings, mentally processing these facts, arriving at legitimate conclusions, and these conclusions are being presented to you as emotions or feelings rather than in words;  3)  Animals and people have a way of sensing and knowing things, that we can not explain.  Maybe #3 is something that a psychiatrist or psychologist would not say.

The older that I have become, the more I believe in listening to my inner voice.  Some people believe in God, Guardian Angels, Spirit Guides, or a Collective Consciousness.  I believe in each of these things to some extent, some times more than other times.  Perhaps one’s inner voice, is just a momentary conclusion based on one’s own lifetime of experiences.

The actual events and real happenings which I recall seeing and observing in Dickinson recently are:  The Dickinson Police having a heightened desire to arrest people, even if they have to make things up;  the Police having motorists pulled over on the road whenever I go out; the restaurants that I go to having very few customers;  the restaurant workers appearing and behaving in an angry, unhappy, unfriendly manner;  my neighbors appearing very stressed and unhappy;  some neighbors moving out in an unhappy manner and my apartment building becoming more vacant;  some of my friends being unable to find employment;  some of my friends having to sell their possessions and possibly their home in order to survive;  not one person that I know looking forward to or speaking about Thanksgiving or Christmas in a happy manner;  when I go shopping, the shoppers appear and act like poor worried people, none of them appear or act like successful confident people;  long lines at McDonalds drive-thru but few customers at other restaurants;  property theft in Dickinson becoming much more prevalent and common.

I had been looking forward for a couple of months to see who would be announced as the new Executive Director of the Downtown Dickinson Association.  I had hoped that a particular candidate that I liked would get the position, someone who I believe is a very positive, pleasant, well liked, up beat, and delightful person.  Instead, the Downtown Dickinson Association never made an announcement on which candidate was selected, and they just went ahead and re-advertised for the Executive Director position without any explanation.  I feel sorry for the people who applied, especially for the person that I like very much, who I hoped would be the new Executive Director.

I have just listed above many things that I recall seeing and observing in Dickinson this week.  It seems that this might be enough for me to get the feeling that there is pain, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, anger, bad thoughts, and bad intentions in Dickinson.  However, one of the strongest and most upsetting feelings or impressions that I am getting, is that people have the intention of victimizing others.

My warning to readers in Dickinson, is that I am getting the feeling that many people who have pain, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, anger, bad circumstances in their own life, bad thoughts, and bad intentions, would like to somehow victimize and try to bring down other people right now.  This is why I am trying to stay home, and not go anywhere.  It appears that many other people in Dickinson are also trying to stay home and not go anywhere currently.

Starting Over Writing About Dickinson, North Dakota

Dickinson, North Dakota has changed so much over the past 12 months, that I need to start over, and begin again in describing Dickinson, North Dakota.

The economy, business, business practices, real estate, construction, construction companies, oil field, oil field companies, employment, jobs, crime, people’s attitudes, and people’s behavior have changed so much, that I have to completely start over in describing what Dickinson, North Dakota is like now.

For my own personal reference and orientation, in thinking about Dickinson, and describing Dickinson, I will have to be clear, that there is a big difference between what Dickinson was like 2007 through 2016, and what Dickinson had changed into by the end of 2017.

The price of oil fell drastically in 2015, causing the oil boom in North Dakota to begin slowing down.  There were changes that occurred in western North Dakota as the number of operating oil drill rigs declined.  The oil field work slowed down, which in turn caused there to be a slow down in the rest of the economy in western North Dakota.  Many workers from out of state returned home to the states where they came from.

When the oil boom slowed down in 2015, Dickinson became calmer and quieter.  There became less people in Dickinson, and less traffic.  Some oil field businesses closed, other businesses closed, and some residents moved out of state.

However, the character, mood, attitudes, and mentality in Dickinson remained the same as what it had been during the last years of the oil boom, up until 2017.

I believe that 2017 is a clear cut-off point, to where everything changed in Dickinson.  I believe that all through the beginning of 2017, virtually everyone in Dickinson realized that the oil boom was over, whether they said it out loud or not.  Throughout Dickinson, everyone considered how the oil boom being over, would affect them.  By the end of 2017, everyone’s outlook, attitude, mentality, and behavior changed.

To me, who had been living in Dickinson since 2011, there came a point in late 2017, that it seemed like everyone in Dickinson had changed over night. It was like the people in Dickinson had changed in unison.

In writing this blog post, and in discussing it, I see that the origin of this change was the sharp decline in the price of oil, the slow down in the oil field, the decline in business and the number of out of state workers, the continuation of the slow down, and the gradual realization by the people in Dickinson that the oil boom was over, and that it was not coming back.  However, the outlook, attitude, mentality, and behavior of people in Dickinson seemed to change all of a sudden, in late 2017.

The people in Dickinson became less friendly.  That is right, the people in Dickinson became even less friendly.  For the past three years, I have described the people in Dickinson as being unfriendly, but now, they have become distinctly even more unfriendly.

There is becoming a greater distinction and division between the people who are from Dickinson, and the people who are not from Dickinson.  During the oil boom that occurred in Dickinson from 2007 through 2014, the people from Dickinson did not like the out of state workers.  Now that the oil boom is over, the people from Dickinson dislike people from out of state even more.

Working in Dickinson from 2011 through 2014, my co-workers from Dickinson were sometimes hostile, unfriendly, uncooperative, not helpful, resentful, and undermining.  Beginning in 2015, I could see that the people from Dickinson, were becoming even more hostile, unfriendly, uncooperative, resentful, and undermining with their co-workers, both with local and out of state workers, but much more so with out of state workers.

What is happening is this:  The local people from Dickinson are making less money, working less hours, and working less overtime.  The local people from Dickinson have lost their jobs, and have had difficulty in getting jobs.  The local people in Dickinson, they want to be able to afford to pay for the things that they have, not lose their car or their house, and be able to live.  The local people in Dickinson, believe that they should have more of a right to work and earn a living, than workers from out of state.

Many or most of the local people in Dickinson, did not like people from out of state coming to Dickinson to work during the oil boom.  The local people were hostile and unfriendly to the people who were from out of state, during the oil boom.  Now, with local people making less money, having lost their job, and not being able to get a job, their dislike for people who are from out of state, is much greater.

With work having slowed down in Dickinson, many out of state workers having moved away, traffic being lower, businesses being slower, things being quieter and calmer, there are a few other ways that Dickinson had changed distinctly by 2017.

Apartment rent and house rent have decreased greatly.  The new apartments that were built during the oil boom, are now much more affordable.  The older apartments and older homes, the rent on these are now very low.

The house prices in Dickinson have come down some, but not as much as they should have, considering that the oil boom is over.  There are several reasons why the house prices remain high, higher than they should be:  Real estate agents and property owners are deliberately trying to keep house prices high through their own efforts;  some home owners do not understand and will not face reality;  some home owners mistakenly think that the oil boom will return any minute now;  some people are just so hung up with what they paid for their home during the oil boom, that they will not price it for what the market is now;  some people paid so much for their home during the oil boom that they owe much more than their home is worth now.

I will mention one more way that Dickinson had changed significantly by 2017.  There was an increase in property theft in Dickinson in 2016 and 2017.  In reading the Dickinson Press newspaper “Crime And Courts” and the “Police Blotter” over the past several years, I noticed that there were more and more thefts from businesses, homes, garages, and automobiles.  In 2016, the amount property theft appeared to be distinctly greater than in previous years.  Now in 2017, property theft seems to be a permanent, daily, ongoing thing in Dickinson.  Dickinson is now a high theft area.

I Didn’t Realize That No One Knew, Or Everyone Forgot About What Happened In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have been writing about the hatred, hostility, unfriendliness, lack of cooperation, and usurious gouging that the local people in Dickinson treated the out of state workers with, but I didn’t realize that many people don’t know what I am talking about, or they have forgotten.  I must now re-tell what happened.

Having made one preliminary trip to Williston in May of 2011, where I had to sleep in my truck, I purchased a 1975-78 truck bed camper for $500, for my return to North Dakota.  When I arrived in Dickinson in mid-May of 2011, I slept in my truck bed camper in the Wal-Mart parking lot and in the Tiger Truck Stop parking lot for a few days.

Within a few days I was able to get a job with an oil field service company.  I was told that I could stay in my camper on the company property, but arrangements were being made to find a house trailer for me and two other new hires to live in, we would each have to pay some of the cost in rent.  Soon, my local Dickinson co-workers complained and protested so much about the company trying to find a house trailer for us new hires to live in, that the company withdrew the offer.  My other out of state co-worker was stuck sleeping in a small Chevy Astro van that he had borrowed from a relative.

In the evening after work, I would go to the Tiger Truck Stop to use the internet.  Soon, I began talking to the “regular customers” that I would see every evening.  It turned out, that most of these regular customers were sleeping in their vehicles at the truck stop.  Some people didn’t even have vehicles, they were sleeping on the ground way at the back of the parking lot.

When motorists on interstate I-94 would take the Tiger Truck Stop exit ramp, they would see campers and tents at the back of the truck stop parking lot.  This attracted other out of state workers to park there, and it caused local Dickinson residents to try to put an end to this.  The Tiger Truck Stop received many complaints about people staying in their parking lot.  Some local Dickinson residents went so far as to make formal complaints with the City of Dickinson.  The City then informed the Tiger Truck Stop that they were not licensed as a “camp ground” and could not allow people to stay there over night.  The Tiger Truck Stop staff had to inform people every night that they could not stay there in a trailer or camp there.

The Tiger Truck Stop had not seen the harm in allowing people who didn’t know where to go and what to do, the chance to park and find out if they could get a job and a if they could find a place to live.  There was no homeless shelter in Dickinson.  The local Dickinson residents who complained, did so out of maliciousness because this was a completely industrial area, and these people weren’t hurting anything.

Other places that the out of state workers slept at night in their vehicles, on the ground, or in the bushes were:  Wal-Mart parking lot, Patterson Lake, T-Rex Mall parking lot, under bridges over the Heart River, the deep wooded ditch behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, vacant lot behind the Grand Dakota Lodge, DSU Agricultural Research Center woods, Dickinson Trap & Skeet Club woods, Enchanted Highway metal sculptures, I-94 rest areas, storage units, industrial areas, and construction sites.

I estimate that on any night, there were 300 to 400 homeless workers in Dickinson.  About 90% of them were currently employed.  For most of these homeless workers, the cost of a motel room in Dickinson per week, was more money than they would take home in a week.  The least expensive old one bedroom apartments in Dickinson were $1,500 per month, with $1,500 deposit, if you could even find one that was available.  Most out of state workers came to North Dakota because they were having financial difficulty where they came from, they didn’t have $3,000 to get into an apartment.

I called all of the RV Parks in Dickinson, none of them would allow trailers or motor homes that were older than ten years old.  Lot rents were about $700 per month, plus utilities.  Many out of state workers thought that they were going to be O.K. with their older motor home, truck bed camper, or trailer that they brought with them, but instead they found that the trailer parks would not allow them, and that the local Dickinson residents hated them.

The local Dickinson residents had this scheme, that they were going to fleece the out of state workers in every way possible, to the greatest extent possible.  The local people in Dickinson did not want there to be enough housing.  The local people wanted there to be a scarcity of housing, so that housing prices would double, triple, and quadruple, which they did.  When the City of Dickinson and Stark County had to review permit applications for “Man Camps” which would have helped to alleviate the housing shortage, the local Dickinson residents protested so strongly, that they were not allowed.

The local Dickinson residents then proceeded to rent tents or camper spaces in their backyards for $700 per month, until the City of Dickinson later had to pass an ordinance against this.

In the evenings after work in Dickinson, I met many normal workers from out of state who had a home, a wife, and children back where they came from.  I would pass the time with them in the evening, while they waited until it was dark enough and late enough to go back to a construction site to sleep, industrial area, or parking lot, wherever they had to hide at night.  All of the homeless out of state workers had to hide at night, because the local Dickinson residents didn’t like the “oil field trash” getting away with not paying them $700 per month to sleep in their backyard, or $1,500 per month for their garage apartment.

The local people in Dickinson absolutely did not want there to be a homeless shelter because this would have meant more people getting away with not paying them.

In my previous blog post I wrote that soon it will be unnecessary for me to write about and criticize Dickinson for what it has done.  There is going to be an economic collapse in Dickinson, where all of the gouging and scheming local residents will get their just rewards for what they have done.  The local Dickinson residents mistreated the out of state workers who came here after facing an economic collapse where they came from.  Now the Dickinson residents can experience the exact same thing, losing their jobs, not being able to pay their bills, losing their possessions and their homes, having to go to a different state where they have never been and don’t know anyone, with not enough money to pay for a place to stay.

Will I Ever Be Done Criticizing Dickinson, North Dakota?

Will I ever be done criticizing Dickinson, North Dakota?  Yes, I see an end to this.  I think that I see how everything is going to unfold, play out, and finish up in Dickinson.  I never could have planned and orchestrated life making such a complete, perfect, and just full circle.

I had a home and everything that I ever wanted in Idaho.  But the economy in Idaho kept getting worse and worse.  If I didn’t do something, I would go broke, and lose everything that I had.  I heard about the oil boom in North Dakota, so that is where I went in May of 2011.

I had never been to North Dakota, and I didn’t know anyone in North Dakota.  When I got to North Dakota, I slept in my vehicle.  There was no affordable place to stay.  Even though I had a degree in engineering and had worked in many types of construction as an engineer, estimator, inspector, superintendent, and project manager, the North Dakota employers treated me as if I didn’t know anything, though they relied on me to do work at a much higher level than they treated me.

It has been difficult and unpleasant living in Dickinson.  I have written about it.  The lack of affordable housing, there being nothing to do, the shortage of women, the scarcity of attractive women, the hostility, hatred, unfriendliness, and lack of cooperation from the local people.  But I will be able to quit writing about all of this soon.

There is an economic collapse that is going to happen in Dickinson, that is just now beginning.  Every unkind thing that the people in Dickinson did, is going to come back on them.  What they derided the out of state workers for, they will now experience fully for themselves.

In Dickinson, local people will begin to lose their jobs.  Local people “who didn’t do anything wrong and don’t deserve this” will not be able to pay for their vehicles, their homes, and their necessities.  The local people in Dickinson made fun of and mistreated the out of state workers who came here after losing everything, now the local people will have a chance to experience losing everything themselves.

I won’t have to write about it.  The local people in Dickinson will live every day in uncertainty, with anxiety, fear, and worry.  It will be difficult to pay bills, and then they won’t be able to pay bills at all.  For the able-bodied, it will come to the point where they pack what they can into a vehicle and head for some place like Denver, Oklahoma City, or Salt Lake City, without enough money or barely enough money to make it there.  Not knowing anyone where they are going, with no money, and no place to stay.  When they are sleeping in their cars in the below freezing weather, maybe they will remember how the local people in Dickinson treated the out of state workers who came to Dickinson.

The majority of the absolutely broke local people won’t leave Dickinson because that’s just the way they are, unable and unwilling to change, adapt, or adjust.  They won’t understand and refuse to understand no matter how many times the Sheriff deputy explains that they are being evicted and have to leave their home.  The local people who have been evicted from their homes will be packed shoulder to shoulder in the basements of the Catholic Churches.

One of the final, final pieces of justice for the local Dickinson people who are packed shoulder to shoulder in the basements of the Catholic Churches, with one toilet, will be that the local people in Dickinson refused to build a homeless shelter.  Millions and millions of dollars have been paid to Catholic Church in Dickinson through tithes, offerings, and bequests but no one wanted to build a homeless shelter.  In the end, the homeless people who will suffer the most in wretched filth, stench, and squalor will be the local people.