Residents of about 30 recreational vehicles in Williston, N.D., are abruptly moving out of a camp this week after the owner told them he’s closing because it was recently annexed into city limits.
Inforum.com reported that owner Kenny Willard said he told residents they need to start moving out of the camp that’s adjacent to his home in northwest Williston. His property is now within the city limits of the oil boom town, where living in an RV is illegal and subject to a $500 per day fine.
Williston Mayor Ward Koeser said city leaders have not taken any action to force the campers to move or to begin enforcing other ordinances in the recently annexed area.
“We’re going to give people time to respond if they need to make changes,” Koeser said. “Until we get a chance to review a number of issues, we probably won’t be doing anything.”
But Willard said he feared he would be subject to fines if he didn’t remove the campers from his property.
“I’m not going to put myself into that predicament,” Willard said. “I can’t put myself into the jeopardy of losing everything that I worked for all my life because I tried to help someone.”
Willard said he gave residents varying levels of notice to move out, ranging from 24 hours to 30 days, depending on when they had paid rent.
Many residents said Willard didn’t warn them about how the annexation would affect the camp, but Willard said, “Everyone has been talking about it for six months.”
Resident Bryan McCoy, who moved from Grand Forks to Williston for “money, just like everybody else,” said he was aware of the annexation, but Willard told him the camp would stay open until spring or summer. McCoy said Willard also indicated that he was going to open another camp and that McCoy was going to be one of the first ones to live there because he always paid rent.
McCoy had several days before he had to move out, but he has already quit his job working for an oil field service company and given away his camper.