Governor Jack Dalrymple today said the state is fully engaged in addressing the impacts created by rapid oil and gas development in western North Dakota. The state has committed $1.2 billion to help meet the region's needs.
A great majority of the funding, $885.3 million, remains to be distributed for:
* Rebuilding and repairing county, township and state roadways
* Extending city streets and utilities for residential growth
* Addressing growing student enrollments
* Expanding and upgrading municipal wastewater treatment systems
* Developing water supply systems
* Enhancing law enforcement, other emergency services and regulatory oversight
"The remarkable growth in western North Dakota's oil and gas industry has created great benefits and opportunities for our state, but this growth brings its own challenges," Dalrymple said. Our progress is not without hardships, but we are fully committed to meeting the challenges of rapid economic growth."
In the coming weeks, Dalrymple will again take a road tour through oil country and will visit with city and county leaders for updated briefings on conditions in the state's oil-producing counties.
Additionally, state officials will participate in a series of community meetings throughout the oil and gas counties mostly to hear from area residents, but also to provide an update on the state's progress in combating adverse oil impacts. State officials who will participate in the community meetings include Transportation Director Francis Ziegler, Department of Commerce Director Alan Anderson, State Engineer Todd Sando,
Lance Gaebe, director of the State Land Department and its Energy Impact Office and Mike Anderson, director of the state Housing Finance Agency. The Department of Commerce will provide more information about the community meetings when more details are available.
The state has dedicated $1.2 billion to address oil-impacts during the 2011-2013 biennium. Current infrastructure funding for oil-producing counties represents a 186 percent increase over the 2009-11 biennium and a 281 percent increase over the 2007-09 biennium.
In the first four months of the current biennium, about $312 million flowed into North Dakota's oil-producing counties to fund roadway projects and other needs. Another $885 million remains to be distributed. Dalrymple also is leading state efforts to facilitate greater development of housing and enhance public safety.
State assistance in North Dakota's oil country includes oil tax revenues which are allocated monthly to counties and cities; grants from the Energy Impact Fund; funding for county, township and state road improvement projects; tax credits for the development of low-income housing and financial assistance to deliver water to western North Dakota.
"Meeting our challenges in western North Dakota goes beyond providing funding," Dalrymple said. "It requires innovative solutions and a strong commitment from the state, our counties and cities and private industry."
During the special session Dalrymple proposed and the Legislature agreed to provide $15 million for the state Housing Fund to facilitate greater development of low-income housing. The Legislature also followed Dalrymple's recommendation to enhance the Energy Impact Fund by providing an additional $35 million. Dalrymple also has directed the Highway Patrol to station an additional 13 troopers in western North Dakota.
Additionally, Dalrymple has created the Western North Dakota Energy Development Information Exchange Council to address energy development issues in western North Dakota. The council includes a diverse group of people including state officials, western North Dakota residents and representatives of the energy industry.
The following charts list funding sources and the status of funding allocations to address western North Dakota oil impacts.