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PINEDALE, WY - Welder Reed Helderman, of Oklahoma, bar-b-que's on his welding truck at the trailer park where he is living for several months in Pinedale, Wy., on August 10, 2005. Rental housing and hotel rooms are hard to find in Pinedale because the town of 1400 is suffering from the pressures of a natural gas boom with gas field workers and private contractors occupying many of the rooms available. New high density construction proposals are often met with public resistance in spite of a cry for denser, more affordable housing. Farms and ranches are being broken up and sold typically as two, five, 10, and 20 acre lots on septic systems and well water which will make it difficult to extend town utilities past a growing ring of private lots. One of the local sayings is that the escalating real estate prices are a result of the billionaires moving into nearby Jackson, WY, who are pushing out the millionaires who then move to Pinedale. According to realtor Travis Bing, anything one 'would want to buy' starts at about $200,000 with many homes selling for $450,000 and up. Realtor Cyd Goodrich believes there is a shortage of low to middle income homes. Pinedale currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the state and is experiencing another boom cycle both in real estate and in energy as natural gas production in two nearby gas fields ramps up for year-round production.
- © Copyright 2005 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
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