Pipeline workers arrive in Belle Fourche - KOTA Territory News

Pipeline workers arrive in Belle Fourche


A new natural gas pipeline stretching from Montana to Wyoming is bringing people and cash to Belle Fourche.
By Monday, 200 workers will be settling into the northern hills town to start work. For many, it's just the latest opportunity in the booming regional energy sector.

Pipeline laborer Victor Olvera Sr. isn't afraid to pick up and go where he can find work in the booming energy market.
"You have to move too much but its a good job, lot of hours, lot of overtime. You can take a rest after one project then go to the next one," said Olvera, of Wyoming.
Saturday, he and roughly 200 others  settled into Belle Fourche to begin work on the Oneok natural gas pipeline.
"A lot of them pulled up yesterday, in the process now. Most of them married, some got some kids. Good American families it looks like," said Dan Dittman, owner of the Riverside Campground in Belle Fourche.
Dittman estimates 98% of the 65 RV spots are being used by pipeline workers and business has increased almost 50%.
"Its going to help me out a lot, income wise. Usually in the winter we don't have many campers," said Dittman.
And the temporary housing is in high demand in the area.
"Lot of the people who own rental houses are getting booked up, other campground down South are booked as well through winter," said Dittman.
"I came in about two months ago to locate a place to stay," said Larry Mcdonald, a pipeline worker from Colorado.
For Olvera, it's not an easy way to live, but he says he and the other workers leave a lot in the communities they pass through.
"We buy everything in town. We have no time to go nowhere else. We work 6 days a week.  If they have everything here, we buy it here," said Olvera.

Although work on the project in this area is expected to wrap up by January, many pipeline workers expect to be here for at least four to five months.

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