North Dakota approves $54 million to help oil-impacted cities
BISMARCK -- State officials authorized nearly $54 million in grants on Thursday to help oil-impacted cities with infrastructure needs. The state's three largest cities in oil country -- Dickinson, Williston and Minot -- received $21 million after...
BISMARCK -- State officials authorized nearly $54 million in grants on Thursday to help oil-impacted cities with infrastructure needs.
The state's three largest cities in oil country -- Dickinson, Williston and Minot -- received $21 million after submitting $48.9 million in project requests.
Dickinson will receive the $5 million it requested to help pay for a wastewater treatment facility. The Board of University and School Lands also approved $12 million for Williston and $4 million for Minot to help with infrastructure development.
Smaller oil-impacted cities split $32.5 million after requesting $93.4 million in assistance.
Approved funding includes $200,000 for street repair in Belfield, $100,000 for truck route repair in Beach and $2 million for projects in Killdeer.
Other infrastructure allocations include $4.1 million for Stanley, $7.7 million for Tioga and $12.3 million for Watford City.
The money for these grants comes from taxes paid to the state by the oil and gas industry.
The Oil and Gas Impact Fund is expected to collect $100 million during the 2011-13 biennium to help address the growing needs in western North Dakota's 17 oil and gas counties. The money allocated on Thursday was the first round of funding awards for the biennium.
Just because the money was approved does not mean the check is immediately in the mail, however. Since the biennium began July 1, the impact fund needs time to build up the tax money that supports these projects.
The cities must also move forward with the projects before the state sends its payment.
Williston, Minot and Dickinson are eligible to share $33 million during the two-year period, while other political subdivisions -- such as counties, townships and smaller cities -- are eligible for $61.4 million.
Rapidly-growing enrollment schools are eligible for $5 million, and $350,000 will go toward updating road studies. The remaining funding is for administrative costs.
Funding rounds are now conducted quarterly instead of annually. October's round will focus on township infrastructure, and January's will focus on emergency services/response assets and training. The April round will provide grants to airports, counties, parks and other infrastructure.
For more on this story, see tomorrow's paper.