Tag Archives: Information on Dickinson North Dakota

This Was Trudy’s Home, Why Hasn’t Trudy Killed Her Husband?

The beautiful 5br, 5ba home shown in the headline photograph, is 7,000 square feet, with 15 acres of landscaped property, and it has an appraised value of $1.2 million.  This house is located in a rural community, where all of the other houses are similar in size, amount of property, and $1 million price range.  This was Trudy’s previous home.  Here is another photo of the front:

Trudy's House 002.JPG

Trudy’s husband has worked in the oil industry for almost thirty years.  During his career, he and his family have had to move every few years, to where his employer needed him to be.  As he and his wife worked, and paid for their family home, they had more and more equity in their home.  Each time that they were required to move, and sell their house, with the increased amount of equity that they had built up, and the appreciated value of their home, they were able to move into a bigger, nicer, more expensive home, until they moved to Dickinson, North Dakota.

Trudy and her husband looked and looked for a home in the Dickinson area for a couple of years, after they moved here near the end of the oil boom.  Money was not an issue, it was that the home prices were very inflated, for what they were.  Even $500,000 houses in the Dickinson area, did not have very nice kitchens, cabinetry, bathrooms, flooring, layout, design, build quality, or landscaping.  Here is a photo of her previous home’s bathroom:

Trudy's House 003.JPG

Trudy and her husband were not looking to throw their money away.  They were not going to pay $400,000 to $500,000 for a home that was not very nice, where prices were over inflated and would likely come down, in an area where people were proving to be unfriendly.

Like I said already, Trudy and her husband have had to move for his work many times in the past thirty years.  Trudy has had to leave her friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and familiar communities many times to start over new some place else.  This also used to involve re-enrolling her two daughters in new schools and helping them to adjust and get re-oriented.

This last time, here in Dickinson, it has been nearly impossible for Trudy to make friends, though she has tried.  Like me, she has mostly experienced the local women sneering, scowling, and glaring at her with animosity and disapproval.

Most women, want and need to socialize with other women.  They want someone to talk to, someone to visit with, someone to talk about their family with, someone to listen to them, someone to do things with.  Trudy doesn’t have this in Dickinson.  Most women would go insane, or leave.  Some women would probably take out all of their anger, frustration, and unhappiness on their husband.  Begging, pleading, or threatening him to get them out of Dickinson.

I sometimes write about how I wish that I could go back to a normal life.  People from Dickinson don’t know what I am talking about, and people who live in other states don’t know what I am talking about.  If you can’t make a picture in your mind from everything that I have written about and tried to explain, I suppose that you would have to live elsewhere, then live here in Dickinson in order to understand, and I don’t mean one week, I mean at least a whole year.

Once I found out where Trudy used to live, I then knew that she fully and completely understands the difference between living in Dickinson and living elsewhere.  I complain more than Trudy does, but she has had to endure a much greater reversal of fortune, hardship, suffering, and deprivation than I have.  I don’t see how she has not killed her husband yet, for taking her away from what she had, and bringing her here.

Here is a photo of what Trudy’s laundry room looked like:

Trudy's House 004.JPG

Note:  I am sorry for the dull picture quality, which does not do justice to the pristine, sharp, and perfect condition of the interior and exterior of this house.  However, on the other hand, due to the poor picture quality, there is no way for anyone to be able to find out where this house is from any detail, in any of these photographs.  This house could be anywhere, in any state.

I do not think that I have given enough detail to identify Trudy.  Even if someone far away from Dickinson wanted to leave a comment, saying where this house is, I would not post this comment.  The only people who could correlate this house to Trudy, are people who already know a great deal about her, and I would not be giving them any information that they did not already know.

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Financial Problems And Taxes Working In The Oil Field Of North Dakota

In 2016, this was about my fourth year of working in Dickinson, North Dakota.  The oil boom was over in North Dakota by the end of 2015, but I continued to stay in Dickinson because I could make more money here, than I could back at my home in Idaho.  I have always planned on, and looked forward to, moving back to my home in Idaho once I have made enough money.

Just like most years in North Dakota, I had very little work and very little income in January 2016, February 2016, and December 2016.  Even if you plan on working in the Winter in North Dakota, so many projects get shut down due to the cold, and frozen ground, that there is a ripple effect of a slow down or shut down through other occupations.

In 2016, I was lucky to get a work project at the end of February, and later in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, I had two jobs at the same time.  Though I had very little income in January, February, and December of 2016, I still made about $47,000 that year.  This was much, much more money than I could have made in Idaho.

In Idaho, even though I have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, I would be very, very lucky to find a job paying even $30,000 per year.  There are a few large manufacturers of agricultural equipment that might have a job advertisement for an engineer that pays a fixed salary of $45,000 per year, but you would be required to do the work of two to three people, taking work home with you every week night, and working Saturday and Sunday too, for an employer who would act like they didn’t know any better, but would actually be thinking that  “they were getting their money’s worth”.

One of the reasons why engineers in places like Idaho and North Dakota, get treated like shit, get hired on a fixed yearly salary, have to do the work of two to three people, and take work home with them, is because there are so few job openings, that if you want to work as an engineer that bad, this is what you get stuck doing.

So for me, I feel a lot better getting paid for every hour that I work, especially when I end up making more money than I would have working as an engineer.

But let me get back to what I wanted to talk about, the financial problems and taxes.  I had no problem with my employers withholding from my paychecks, federal income taxes, North Dakota state income taxes, medicare, and social security.  In fact, I only claimed one withholding allowance on my employee tax withholding forms, when I could have claimed two withholding allowances.

Because I had two different jobs at the same time, each employer withheld tax money from my paychecks at the correct percentage for the money that I was being paid by that employer.  However, because of my combined income from two jobs, and making $47,000 overall, I ended up being in a higher tax bracket, the 25% tax bracket instead of the 15% tax bracket.  With just one withholding allowance, most people would have received a federal income tax refund for overpaying, but not me, I owed more money in federal income taxes.

What pushed me into owing more federal income taxes, was the “Obamacare Tax Penalty” of $850.  Let me get this straight, I worked two jobs at the same time, I had one income tax withholding allowance, and now I owe additional money in federal income taxes, because I did not have health insurance, and you want me to pay for other people’s health insurance?

This keeps getting worse.  I didn’t have hardly any income in December 2016, January 2017, February 2017, March 2017, and April 2017.  I didn’t have the money to pay all of my taxes in April, and the CPA who has done my taxes for years, customarily files an extension for me because he is busy, so I didn’t pay on time.

When I did finally pay my income taxes before the end of my income tax filing extension deadline, I owed additional federal income taxes, $1,700 in Idaho State income taxes, and $450 Idaho State income tax penalty.

From my paychecks, the State of North Dakota was receiving all of the state income taxes that they were owed, which I believe was 2% of my gross pay on each paycheck.  However, I didn’t have any withholding from my paychecks for the State of Idaho, where I claim residency, and their state income tax rate is about 7% I believe.

Why, why would I pay state income tax to both North Dakota, and to Idaho?  Because I work in North Dakota, I don’t care that they withhold about 2% from the gross pay on each of my paychecks.  I would rather North Dakota just take the 2%, rather than argue with the state of North Dakota about my residency, which I would probably lose this argument with them anyway.

I wrote a whole blog post titled “Losing Your Home In A Lawsuit Judgement”, where I explain that it is very important legally, to make sure that your home is counted under the law as “Your Primary Residence”, and not an investment property.  Legal proof for me that my home in Idaho is my “Primary Residence”, and not an investment property,  would be such things as me having an Idaho driver’s license, not renting out my home, not owning a second home elsewhere that I claim as my primary residence, having most of my vehicles registered in Idaho, and especially, claiming myself to be a resident of Idaho on my federal income tax return, which unfortunately means paying something like 7% of my income in taxes to the State of Idaho.

Here is what the amount of my income that I paid in Year 2016 taxes looks like:

  • Federal income tax                  16% (bracket was 25%, but 16% was the effective rate)
  • Soc. Sec. & Medicare                7.6%
  • Obamacare Penalty                  1.8%
  • North Dakota income tax          2%
  • Idaho income tax                        7%
  • Idaho income tax penalty          1%
  • Idaho property tax                     1.7%
  • Sales tax                                         6%
  • Tax preparation                          0.75%

Total of my income paid in taxes     43.85%

I wrote this blog post today, because I am considering what to do.  What can I do?  If I sold my house back in Idaho, I would have to pay 6% to a real estate company, and then pay capital gains tax on the amount of gain over what I originally purchased this house for, at about a 25% tax rate on the gain.  Or if I put all of the sale money into a house in Dickinson, I wouldn’t owe any capital gains taxes, but I would be putting this money into a depreciating property, as prices in Dickinson are still inflated.

I don’t want to sell my house in Idaho, I had planned on going home one day.  What would I do with all of my personal property, furniture, trailers, equipment, and vehicles?  I would be eaten alive in storage rental fees, if I didn’t have my own property.  Even if I could fit all of my furniture, personal belongings, tools, equipment, and maybe one vehicle into a storage unit for $250 per month, this equals $3,000 per year, this is the exact amount of money that I am trying not to pay to the state of Idaho in the first place.  Selling my home to avoid paying about $3,000 per year to the state of Idaho in income taxes and property taxes, would result in me paying $3,000 per year in rent for a storage unit.

How or why would I drag all of my property to Dickinson, and buy a home here?  There is a tremendous shortage of women, the local people are very unfriendly, the town is being transformed by all of the drug people and criminals that are currently moving here, and the economy may continue to decline in Dickinson.

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.

Drug Dealing And Crime At My Apartment Building In Downtown Dickinson Almost Causing Me To Move

About one year ago, I moved into an older apartment building in downtown Dickinson, North Dakota.  For 3-1/2 years prior to this, while I was working in Dickinson, I paid rent to a homeowner on the north side of Dickinson to stay in his 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home.  For the past eight years, I have owned a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Idaho, where I have spent very little time due to working in North Dakota, Utah, and Texas.

The 3br/2ba home on the north side of Dickinson where I lived for 3-1/2 years, was very similar to living in my 3br/2ba home in Idaho.  All of the neighbors in the rural area on the north side of Dickinson believed, and behaved the same way.

All of the neighbors in the rural area on the north side of Dickinson had extra trucks, trailers, equipment, motorcycles, four wheelers, boats, and garages where they worked on all of the things that they owned.  They took care of their property, were quiet, didn’t play loud music, didn’t drive recklessly or carelessly, and stayed on their own property.

All of the neighbors in the rural area quickly spotted any vehicle that was unfamiliar to them, and watched the vehicle to see where it was going and what they were going to do.  Most of the neighbors had a couple of outdoor dogs, that would start barking whenever someone unfamiliar was anywhere near their yard or the neighbor’s yard, which caused people to look outside or come outside to see what the dogs were barking at.

In the 3-1/2 years of living in the rural area on the north side of Dickinson, no one had any theft or trespassers.  We had a medium sized bird dog that was very alert, and every neighbor surrounding us had medium sized to large outdoor hunting dogs that guarded the houses.  One of the neighbors had huskies and malamutes that never came inside.

Due to the home owner where I was staying being older and having health problems, which caused among other things, him to come into the living room and turn on the television and make a lot of noise during the late night and early a.m. hours, which woke me up and prevented me from falling back to sleep, I wanted to go and live some place else.  The oil boom was over in North Dakota by the end of 2015, and rents all throughout Dickinson had decreased through 2016 and 2017.

I did not want to spend very much money for rent in Dickinson.  I was just here to work, to try to make as much money as possible, to try to save as much money as possible, to try to spend as little as possible, so that one day I could return to my home in Idaho, and resume a normal life.

Just as an aside, to answer the question, What do I mean by resuming a normal life?  For instance, in the area of Idaho where I had lived, there was an equal number of men and women.  Perhaps even a slightly higher number of women.  It was common for women in Idaho to want to make a good impression, to try to have a nice appearance, to be polite, and to try to be friendly and helpful.  Why?  Because they wanted to make friends, make acquaintances, have the chance for more opportunities, to advance professionally, to be asked out on dates, or to be invited to go places.

But let me get back to Dickinson.  In the Spring of 2017, I sought to find an inexpensive apartment in Dickinson.  The older apartment buildings downtown, had significantly lower rent than the newly constructed apartment buildings on the outer perimeter of Dickinson.  At one of the older apartment buildings downtown, which was probably at 50% occupancy, the apartment manager gave me a very good deal on a two bedroom apartment, because I had very good credit, two jobs, had already been working in Dickinson for four years, and I did not have any criminal record.

I liked the 2 bedroom apartment very much, it had a nice view, and it did not cost very much.  I was glad to have privacy, and quiet at night when I was sleeping, which I had not had while I was living with a homeowner on the north side of Dickinson.  I also liked the convenience of living downtown, it was a shorter drive to places like the grocery store.

Within a couple of months of moving into an apartment in downtown Dickinson, several bad things began happening at about the same time.  In order to not be a jerk, or start any problems with my apartment neighbors, I did not want to take any person’s parking space.  So I parked my vehicles on the street.  I had to look all over town, but I found a business owner who was willing to rent to me a spot to park one of my trucks, about four blocks away from where I lived downtown.

When I had traveled all over the United States for work, to Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Texas, and North Dakota, I kept a large locked trunk, chained and locked to the back seat frame, inside of my truck.  In this trunk, I kept my birth certificate, social security card, $500 emergency money, and a large 11″x17″ portfolio binder showing years and years of my engineering work.  After 15 years of travelling like this, working in places like Pueblo, Phoenix, Laredo, and Fort Worth, I thought that this locked and chained down trunk inside of my locked truck was safe enough in Dickinson.

I was wrong.  My entire truck was stolen in downtown Dickinson.  I handed out flyers all over southwest North Dakota, and after a week, different people telephoned me to tell me who had my stolen truck.  I was able to contact associates and relatives of the person who stole my truck, who was already wanted by the Police in Dickinson for his seventh and eighth felonies.  Due to pressure from friends, relatives, and the Police, my truck was left abandoned beside Hwy 85.

Missing from my stolen truck was about $1,500 to $2,000 in tools and equipment.  The electric trailer brake controller, radar detector, two spare truck tires, spare trailer tire, truck bed tool box, floor jack, air tank, tool sets, carrier rack, and the four good tires that were on it, had all been removed and sold.  The $500 cash went in his pocket, and my birth certificate, social security card, portfolio of work, business cards, owners manual with service history and receipts, all went in the garbage somewhere, probably.

At about the same time that my truck was stolen in downtown Dickinson, I was having problems at my apartment building in downtown Dickinson.  The source of many of these problems, were two apartments in my building where drugs were being used and sold.

Shortly after moving into this building, several residents and myself, witnessed the Police trying to escort a resident from one of the drug apartments to their Police car.  This young lady repeatedly tried to injure herself by intentionally banging her head against the brick walls, doors, Police car, and inside the Police car.  She was obviously out of her mind on drugs.

At all hours of the day and night, people would come and go from these two drug apartments in the downtown apartment building where I lived.  Or, sometimes people would stay and get high, then sit or wander in the apartment building common areas in a zombie like stupor.

After I had lived in this downtown apartment building for about six weeks, I telephoned the apartment building management, and I told them that they had a drug problem in this building.  People coming and going from two apartments throughout the day and night, people sitting in a stupor on balconies, walking the hallway stoned in the early a.m. hours.  The building management asked me to specify which two apartments.  When I was reluctant to do so, the building management asked if it was apartment xx and xx, and I said yes, exactly.  Since other residents of the building had already complained and had identified the two apartments, I gave some additional information.

It turned out, that the main drug dealing apartment was not even supposed to be occupied by the people who were living there.  A mother of an adult son, she had rented the apartment, then she went off to live someplace else, and she left her adult son in the apartment.  This adult son who did not have a job, he invited other people who did not have jobs, to come and stay with him at the apartment where he wasn’t even on the lease.  This group of unemployed people, none of them were on the apartment lease, bought and sold drugs all day, and used drugs all day.

The apartment building managers and the Police, made an attempt to clear the apartment building of all drug activity, which helped some, but there was a recurrence of problems.  This sector of downtown Dickinson, had more than several drug houses and drug apartments.  People would continue to come to this apartment building, or wander around this immediate area, seeking drugs.  People who were not in their right minds, would either come straight to this building or eventually wander over to this building, and they would try to hang out here, hoping or thinking that a drug dealer or someone with drugs would turn up any minute, because they had got drugs here in the past.

This led to things like me finding someone who was not a resident of the building, almost completely passed out and unable to move, laying in the stairwell of this building at 3:00 a.m.  Finding someone who was not a resident of the building, sitting in their car hiding behind the garages, acting out of their mind on drugs.  Finding someone who was not a resident of the building, shuffling around and acting crazy in the parking lot around the vehicles at 2:00 a.m.  And the combination of people who do not live here loitering or wandering through the property 24 hours per day, while at the same time residents find that someone has removed property from their car or tampered with their car.

In this past month, I found a couple of 20-23 year olds that didn’t belong in my neighbor’s backyard where he keeps his equipment, motorcycles, and four wheelers; a non-resident with a station wagon filled with garbage bags trying to fill up our one apartment building garbage container; a couple of drug impaired non-residents searching through our apartment building garbage container with flashlights for about 20 minutes, who were probably looking for bank statements and credit card bills.  And finally, the drug dealer, drug user adult son who does not have a job, is back at his mother’s apartment dealing drugs.

The apartment building management, and the Police, had tried to rid this apartment building of the drug dealing about eight months ago, by confronting the drug dealers, seeing if any drugs could be detected or found, and threatening the lease holders of the two suspected apartments with eviction.  Months and months later, people were still coming onto this apartment building property 24 hours per day hoping to find drugs, because they had gotten drugs here in the past.

Within one day of the drug dealer with no job being back on the apartment building property, I watched black guys from out of state with inner city ghetto vehicles driving right up to this apartment like it’s a drive through or convenience store for drugs.

(If you want to see what an out of state, inner city ghetto vehicle used by drug dealers looks like, go peak through the fence of the impound lot at East End Towing in Dickinson to see the Range Rover which has been lowered with custom wheels, California license plates, with the windows broken out of it, and beat all to hell from misuse and abuse.)

I thought about calling the apartment building management, or going and talking to them in person, and saying to them that they have got to get rid of the people in this apartment, evict the lease holder once and for all.  I think that it would have probably turned into an argument, with me threatening to leave, or the apartment management suggesting that I leave, because they are tired of hearing about it.

I think that there is so much crime in downtown Dickinson now, there are so many low income and inner city ghetto people that have moved to Dickinson recently, that the property managers and the Police are overwhelmed, they don’t know what to do, or how to handle it.

I asked the homeowner where I used to live in Dickinson, if I could come back and live with him in an emergency, because I can foresee getting into an argument with the property management, where they will ask me to leave.  He is partly sympathetic, because he knows that my truck and all of the property in my truck would never had gotten stolen if he would have allowed me to keep my truck parked at his house.

When I think about renting an apartment elsewhere in Dickinson, what I am certain of, is that I sure as hell am not going to pay more money to live in a newer apartment building in Dickinson, and still be around apartments where people sell and use drugs.  The new apartment buildings are at 50% occupancy, they will rent to anyone, and there are so many lower income and inner city ghetto people that have recently moved to Dickinson, that I don’t see how I can ever escape the crime and drug dealing in Dickinson by renting any apartment in Dickinson.

 

Note:  I want to explain why I associate all of this crime in Dickinson with low income people and inner city ghetto people who have recently moved to Dickinson.

People who spent a lot of time and money to obtain a college degree, or worked their way up to management level, or professional level, or have enough demonstratable skill and experience to have a good paying job, these people all know better than to jeopardize all of their hard work by attempting to steal things out of people’s vehicles, garages, and homes.  To get caught with a stolen vehicle, trailer, or equipment.  Also, they are usually capable of buying the things that they want, rather than taking the foolish and unnecessary risk of stealing things.

It is mostly low income and inner city ghetto people that look at the risk of being caught, convicted, and sentenced for trying to steal a phone or laptop out of a vehicle, or valuables out of someone’s home, as being worth the risk.  The risk of them spending 30 days in jail, or one year in prison, is worth the $200 to $400 they might receive from stealing something from someone’s vehicle or burglarizing a home.

Ups, Downs, And Very Bad Times With Employment In Dickinson, North Dakota

I first came to work in Dickinson, North Dakota in 2011.  I went to work in Texas in 2012, and then I came back to work in Dickinson in 2013.  I have been here for the past five years.

I have had ups, downs, and very bad times with employment in Dickinson, North Dakota.  My friends and acquaintances have had a worse time than I have had, many of them have had to leave Dickinson and North Dakota.

My problems with employment in Dickinson have never been about the hourly wage rate that I was paid.  So I want job seekers in Dickinson to keep in mind, not to focus solely on what wage rates a company is offering, but to pay attention to other things about the company.

Year 2017, was one of my worst years of employment in Dickinson, North Dakota.  The problems that I faced, are something that job seekers in Dickinson should know about.

I have been employed with the same small company in Dickinson for the past four years.  Sometimes this company pays very, very well when it has a project that I can work on.  Sometimes this company does not have a project that I can work on, so I go look for other jobs at other companies that I can do part time or full time.

I want to emphasize several reasons why I continue to work for this small company in Dickinson, that does not always have work for me.  One, sometimes it pays very, very well, like as much as $8,000 per month.  Two, the owner of the company leaves everyone alone, it is totally up to the employee to do their job, the owner does not check on the employees, the employees are on their own.  Three, I like this type of work very much.  Four, due to the nature of the work, the company owner, and the other employees, there are usually no work conflicts of any kind.  Five, I have usually been able to find a 2nd or 3rd job outside of this job when necessary, to make enough money.

The reason why I had such a bad year in 2017, was because the small company that I was working for did not have a project to put me on at the start of the year, and two of the other companies that I went to work for in 2017, were very bad companies.

The first new company that I went to work for in 2017, as far as I had heard, it was a good company, they had a lot of work, and they were branching out into different areas.  On my very first day of work, when I got to work at 4:30 a.m., right away it turned out to be the most disorganized, mismanaged company that I had ever worked for.  My gut instinct was to walk away from this company right then, and I might have been better off if I had done just that, and found a job with a different company.

The biggest problem with this company, turned out to be, that they didn’t pay all the wages that were owed.  I was missing a lot of money out of my second, and my third pay check.  I found out that there were already about four complaints with the Department of Labor against this company for non-payment of wages.

After the fact, I found out that if I would have asked other people working in the oil field, I would have heard not to go to work for this company.  Don’t believe what you read in the Dickinson Press newspaper about companies in Dickinson, what they write is sometimes almost the same thing as a paid for advertisement, rather than the truth.

What I learned, is that prospective employees should probably call the North Dakota Department of Labor to see how many complaints there are against a company.  Also, prospective employees should look the company owner and the company managers up on the North Dakota Court Repository website to see what lawsuits have been filed against them, and what criminal records they have.

The second new company that I went to work for in Dickinson in 2017, was a very long established company in Dickinson.  Some of my co-workers were agreeable, and some of my co-workers were unfriendly.  It turned out, that many of this company’s work projects were being completed, and as Winter was approaching, all of the workers were worried about being laid off.  Each worker was worried about being let go, though they wanted to stay on as long as possible, maybe even being one of the few people who kept their job through the Winter.  This was one of the reasons why some workers were uncooperative with each other, Winter lay offs were coming.

This second new company for me in 2017, due to a mistake, they shorted me a couple hundred dollars on several pay checks, and I quit because I was so angry about it.  But one of the reasons why I was so angry, was the day that I found out that I had been shorted so much money on my pay checks, a foreman who was not my foreman, was giving me a hard time, and there were several reasons why this was wrong.

It was a while after I quit, before I thought to look up on the internet who this foreman was.  This foreman had been charged in Arizona with 1st degree murder, armed robbery, drug charges, fleeing the police, and DUI, in multiple different cases.  On his company job application where it asked, “Have you ever been charged or convicted of any crime?”, I wonder if he wrote down “Yes, 1st degree murder, armed robbery, fleeing and eluding police, DUI, possession of drugs and paraphernalia.”

I then looked up other foremen at this company on the North Dakota Court Repository, and some of them had pretty bad criminal records, and always drug charges.  It then kind of fell into place, like the pieces of a puzzle, the way that people behaved, and the things that they did, that it was kind of a criminal and drug culture at this company.  So again I recommend to prospective employees, to look up the company owners and managers on the internet, and on the North Dakota Court Repository website to see what lawsuits and criminal charges they have had.

Just as it was becoming Winter in 2017, I was being hired at a company in New Town, North Dakota, which is about 100 miles north of Dickinson.  I had made this drive before on Hwy 22 going north to New Town for work, and it is not an easy drive.  You have to go through the Killdeer Mountains through an area called “The Breaks”, up steep hills, down steep hills, and around corners through the mountains.

I thought that this job paid $17 per hour, for about 12 hours per day, which is $204 per day.  It didn’t, it paid $15 per hour, for 8 hours per day, which is only $120 per day.  I was in trouble. I was willing to drive the 100 miles up to New Town, and probably having to drive back each day, to work 12 hours and make $204 each day.  But I couldn’t afford to do this for only $120 per day.  After taxes were taken out, and paying for gas, I would only have about $65 per day left, not enough to pay all of my bills.

I didn’t know what I was going to do.  Jobs get scarce in North Dakota once it becomes Winter.  I was thinking that I was going to have to sleep in my pickup truck in New Town, I couldn’t afford the $35 in gas each day to drive up from Dickinson and back.  It costs $10 to take shower at the truck stop in New Town, but where was I going to park and sleep in my truck without getting chased off?

When I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, the owner of the small company that I had been working for, for the past four years called, and he asked me if I wanted to, or would I be able to work 48 hours per week on a project, and I said that yes I would.

Out of nowhere, just by chance, I got a pretty good paying work assignment.  Not long after that, I had been stalling paying my Year 2016 income taxes by filing an extension, and I found out that I owed $2,000 in income taxes.  Plus I had vehicle insurance, homeowners insurance, and property taxes back in Idaho all due at about that time.

I hadn’t known how bad of a financial position I was in, I had been trying not to think about it.  I had not made much money at the first and the second new company that I went to work for in Dickinson, and the third company in New Town was a fail too.  I was really lucky that the company owner where I had been working called me to ask me if I could work on a project.

One of the reasons why I wrote this blog post, is to tell job seekers in Dickinson, that you can really get yourself into financial trouble in Dickinson by going to work for the wrong company.  A company in Dickinson may offer an attractive hourly wage rate, but this will mean nothing if you can’t work at that company for very long.  Beware, a human resources person or the person hiring you may lead you to believe that you can work for their company year round, in order to get you to take the job, however they may lay off most of their workers in October and November.

Remember, the first company that I went to work for in 2017, not only was it a horribly run company, they shorted me a couple of hundred dollars on each pay check.  It took me a while to get a job at a second company in 2017, and again this company shorted me a couple of hundred dollars on each pay check.  It took me a while to get a job with a third company in 2017, but this job didn’t pay nearly enough due to the number of hours per day and the long commute distance.  Having three bad jobs in a row like this, can lead to financial ruin.

What one of my readers pointed out to me in a comment, was that I would have been better off if I had just gone to work at WalMart in Dickinson for $15 per hour.  She was right, I would have been better off just going to work at WalMart.

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.

More Hoodlum Behavior In Downtown Dickinson, North Dakota

Almost one year ago, I moved from a house in a rural area on the north side of Dickinson, to an apartment in downtown Dickinson.  I went from an area where nothing illegal or criminal ever happened, to where criminal activity is taking place all of the time, every day.

In the almost one year that I have lived in downtown Dickinson, I have seem drug dealing and drug use in the apartments where I live, the police coming and taking people away in handcuffs who are acting insane, vehicles having things stolen out of them, my truck got stolen, drunk or high people crashing through the fence into the canal in their vehicle three times, passed out drunk or high non-residents in the apartment stairwell, non-residents hiding, sneaking, and up to no good on the property several times.  This probably doesn’t even cover everything, and this has been in less than one year.

There are some very nice, tidy, well kept yards and homes in downtown Dickinson that are owned by older retired people, blue collar trades people, business owners, and professional people.  However, there are also some single family homes that have been divided into two or three rental units, and apartment buildings.

In the past, urban planners and property developers probably included apartment buildings in downtown Dickinson in order to fill a need, and in order to balance things out.  There were some residents in Dickinson who did not earn enough money to buy a home, some of them young, some of them old, some of them just starting out, some of them retired, or families that were just getting started.

In Dickinson in the past, there was not much of a need or desire to separate lower income people from higher income people.  In the past, people generally tried to behave and get along, whether they were upper class or lower class, because there were immediate consequences for anyone behaving badly for too long.  In the past, people in Dickinson just did not persist in being disruptive to everyone, it just wasn’t allowed.

Now in downtown Dickinson, the rental houses that have been divided into several units, and the older apartment buildings, have unfortunately become a habitat for poor people who often have a combination of multiple personal problems which include unemployment, illegal drug use, drug dealing, alcoholism, mental illness, theft, burglary, robbery, assault, vandalism, and other criminal behavior.

I began this blog post by writing that in downtown Dickinson where I live, there is crime every day, all day long.  About a month ago, I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and I looked out of my apartment window, there was a strange acting non-resident, who was shuffling around with tiny steps, going back and forth, back and forth repeatedly beside people’s vehicles in the parking lot.

I couldn’t tell what this person was trying to do or why they were behaving like this.  I could tell that it was an older man, and I didn’t know if he had Alzheimers disease, dementia, or if he was under the influence of drugs.  I watched him for several minutes, and then it appeared that although he was acting like he had something wrong with him, he was also looking to see what was in the front seat and the back seat of vehicles.

I telephoned the Dickinson Police, but by the time that the Police arrived, this man had wandered away.  I gave a description to the Police, but they didn’t find him.  When I had to leave for work at about 4:00 a.m., I was able to drive along following this man’s footprints in the snow, to the apartment where he lived a couple of blocks away.

When I got home that night, I asked my neighbors who live in the house next door, if they knew who this was.  They said yes, they knew who this was, yesterday he had let himself into their back yard through their fence gate, and he went and urinated in their back yard behind a tree, he was drunk yesterday.  The neighbor said that if her brother catches him, he is going to beat him.  This is just an example of what happens throughout the day here.

What caused me to write this blog post today, is what happened today, Sunday, at 11:30 a.m.  I walked out to my vehicle to go to the grocery story, and I started my vehicle.  As I was sitting in my vehicle, a gold color station wagon drove past the apartment building where I live going very slowly.  When I drove down the street, and turned the corner, this gold color station wagon had stopped, people got out, and began loading multiple garbage bags into another apartment building’s trash container.

I thought that this was a shitty, sleazy thing to do.  In this gold color station wagon, I could see that they had bags and bags of garbage in their car, and that they were going to fill up this apartment building’s garbage container, and they don’t even live there.

I drove back around the city block, because I thought that these people were going to attempt to do this same thing at the apartment building where I live.  Sure enough, there they were trying to load the garbage container at the building where I live, with the garbage bags from their vehicle.  I drove up to them and I laid on the car horn, I told them that they can’t fill up our garbage container with their garbage from their car.  I told them I was going to call the Police, to have a talk with them, and I drove away.

There are about twenty to twenty-five residents at the apartment building where I live.  Myself, and other residents, sometimes have to wait for the garbage container to get emptied before we can take out our garbage from our apartments.  Sometimes, someone who does not live here, drives up and fills up our garbage container.  The garbage container is about 200 gallons in size, it is just barely adequate for this apartment building, it is not a dumpster.

I telephoned the Dickinson Police non-emergency dispatch number, and the Police dispatcher who was new, said that it was not illegal for someone to do this.  This made me very angry, and I explained to the dispatcher that this is something that the tenants pay for, this is something that the apartment building owner pays for, yes it is illegal for people who do not live here, to fill up our garbage container with bags and bags of their garbage, so that the residents who live here can’t even use it.

The Police dispatcher agreed to have a Police Officer call me, I had the vehicle license plate number,make, and model.  This made me even angrier, besides me catching the person who was probably the one responsible for causing our garbage container to always be full so that the apartment residents can’t even use it, the Police were possibly going to say that there was nothing that they could do about this.

Herein lies a problem which I have noticed for the past year.  If you live in house, and there is someone walking around on your property, hiding behind a garage on your property, parked in a car on your property, passed out on your property, or acting strange around your vehicles on your property at 2:00 a.m., the Police would respond to a call about this with the understanding that this was trespassing or criminal mischief.  However, when this same thing happens at an apartment where there are about twenty to twenty-five residents, even if you explain to the Police that this person that you called them about does not live here, the Police somewhat act like you have less of a right to complain, and the other person who is not a resident of the premises, has somewhat of right to be there.  The Police Officers, are somewhat more in agreement with the caller’s complaint, than the Police dispatcher sometimes.

In other words, if you live in an apartment building in Dickinson, even though it is privately owned property, which you pay rent to live in, the Police and other people, kind of have the impression that it is a public parking lot, a public garbage container, a public hallway, or a public stairwell.

I believe that this is one of the sources of the criminal problems in downtown Dickinson.  Because of these private apartment building properties, being looked at by the Police and other people, as public places, you get this 24 hour, 7 days a week, people wandering through, looking for the opportunity to sell illegal drugs, buy illegal drugs, steal from cars, commit burglary, commit robbery, commit vandalism, or hang out waiting for opportunities to commit crimes.

I wish that the Police in Dickinson, and the residents in downtown Dickinson, would begin to see and re-consider, that the permissive attitude of allowing people to roam around and wander through private property and private property that has a common area, that this is allowing and creating the opportunity for crime to happen.