FACES OF THE BOOM: Williston Man Serving as Eyes, Ears of Oil PatchWILLISTON, N.D. - Wayne Biberdorf is now the eyes and ears of the Oil Patch. The Williston resident who spent his career in the oil and gas industry began working this month as the state's energy impact coordinator.
By: Amy Dalrymple, Forum Communications
WILLISTON, N.D. - Wayne Biberdorf is now the eyes and ears of the Oil Patch.
The Williston resident who spent his career in the oil and gas industry began working this month as the state's energy impact coordinator.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple appointed Biberdorf to the newly created position, which is designed to improve coordination between western North Dakota communities and state agencies.
Williams County Commissioner Dan Kalil said Biberdorf is not only the perfect choice for the job, he was the only choice.
"He's the only guy that has all of the talent, all of the credentials, all of the background and the credibility," Kalil said. "He knows everybody on both sides of the table."
Biberdorf, a native of Bottineau County, has lived in Williston since 1980. He worked for Hess Corp. in Tioga as an engineer and manager for 30 years before retiring in 2010.
Since then, Biberdorf has worked as a consultant from Williston.
Biberdorf spent his first two weeks as energy impact coordinator attending city and county meetings and meeting with local leaders.
"I've been busy trying just to catch up, trying to make sure I understand what the issues are," Biberdorf said.
During last week's Williston City Commission meeting, commissioners called his attention to several issues, including transportation concerns.
Biberdorf said he is not a policy-maker, but he will be able to keep the governor and other officials informed about challenges facing the rapidly growing communities.
"I'm not the decision-maker, if you will, but hopefully I can add insight," Biberdorf said.
Kalil said it will make a huge difference for local communities to have Biberdorf conveying their concerns directly to state officials in Bismarck.
"There's such a huge gap in communication in the 240 miles between here and there," Kalil said. "These are serious issues. The minute that you come up with a solution, it's almost too late, because the problem is already bigger."
Biberdorf, who has an office at Williston State College, will spend most of his time in the counties with the highest level of oil activity. He plans to visit Mountrail County this week.
Biberdorf said he also wants to communicate with local residents about the progress that's being made on some of the issues, such as efforts to improve roads and add housing.
"I am seeing some good progress being made, and I think sometimes we miss that. It's natural to worry about the issues that are concerning and not recognize some of the good progress."