MANDAREE Housing, health care and education are top priorities for Mandaree community residents on the Fort Berthold Reservation.
A Mandaree Community Volunteers Needs Assessment was recently completed and includes those priorities and others.
Lisa DeVille, Mandaree community volunteer, explained how the Mandaree Community Volunteers Needs Assessment came to be.
In November 2012, the Mandaree post office was in the process of being permanently closed by the U.S. Postal Service and expected the residents to use services in neighboring towns. When Mandaree leaders were were asked what they were going to do about it, it was stated that it's a "done deal."
Mandaree community volunteers and Walter DeVille Sr., Mandaree Community Board member, began a grassroots petition drive.
Through the process of collecting 698 signatures by going door to door and listening to the Mandaree residents' concerns and issues, the Mandaree Community Volunteers Needs Assessment was created. A report was written entitled "Impact Issues of Oil and Gas Development on the Fort Berthold Reservation," with concentration on the Mandaree community. The Mandaree post office remains open.
Mandaree and the surrounding area has an estimated 1,000 people, excluding crew camps.
Listed below are a few highlighted results from the Mandaree Community Volunteers Needs Assessment based on Mandaree residents' concerns and issues.
68.5 percent Mandaree residents live in overcrowded conditions.
74.1 percent Mandaree homes are in need of renovation/repair.
55.6 percent Mandaree homes have safety or sanitation issues.
50.0 percent Mandaree School not preparing children for any type of post-secondary training.
87.1 percent daily school attendance is important to families.
61.6 percent New housing for teachers and employees is a must have.
89.7 percent Permanent 24-hour physician needed.
97.1 percent New clinic needed.
72.5 percent Traffic speed control effectiveness by Fort Berthold Law Enforcement is poor.
79.7 percent Response time by Fort Berthold Law Enforcement is poor.
61.3 percent Mandaree residents feel less safe in the past 2 years.
81.9 percent vandalism is a problem.
89.9 percent Mandaree families are concerned for their family's safety due to new "man camps."
71.9 percent Visible pollution in the air is a problem.
75.5 percent Oil-field resident's garbage is a problem.
85.5 percent Trucks dumping or spilling unknown liquids on road is a problem.
85.5 percent Mandaree residents would participate in a recycling program.
91.3 percent It is extremely important that land in Mandaree be free of spills and damages from oil and gas development.
Mandaree oil and gas tax revenue to cover services:
95.8 percent To improve streets and roads.
95.1 percent To improve emergency services.
52.2 percent Feel zoning (planning for land use) needs to be implemented throughout the entire Mandaree area.
97.9 percent Would like to see a convenience store that sells gas in Mandaree.
84.5 percent Would like to see a laundromat in Mandaree.
75.5 percent Outdated sewer system is a problem.
72.7 percent Outdated water system is a problem.
With the results, the group was able to identify Quality of Life Initiatives and Strategies for the Mandaree Strategic Plan that is currently being written with the Vision West ND Project.
Vision West ND is a consortium of 19 North Dakota counties, Three Affiliated Tribes, regional councils, energy associations and education institutions. The project is to help address issues for local communities and establish a plan to handle challenges from increased oil production.
A full report on the Mandaree Community Volunteers Needs Assessment will be completed that will be presented to the Three Affiliated Tribes' Business Council as soon as possible. Lisa DeVille said she hopes they can have the report ready for the October business council meeting.