Gov. Jack Dalrymple today signed into law House Bill 1269, making $31 million immediately available for the Southwest Pipeline project and other water systems dedicated to bringing quality water supplies to rural North Dakota.
"By making this funding immediately available, rural water developers will be prepared to break ground as soon as the construction season begins," Dalrymple said. "I commend our legislative leadership, the bill's sponsors and all legislators who helped to fast-track this important funding bill so that there is no delay in bringing affordable, high-quality water to more rural areas of North Dakota."
House Bill 1269 will be part of a much larger funding package for statewide water supply projects and flood protection. Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, Senate Appropriations Chairman Ray Holmberg, House Appropriations Chairman Jeff Delzer and the bill's sponsors worked with Dalrymple to get the bill passed with an emergency clause so that the funding is immediately available to complete pre-construction work before the 2013 construction season begins.
"Republicans are committed to being leaders in water and ensuring clean and safe drinking water for all North Dakotans," Sen. Rich Wardner said. "HB 1269 is critical for getting quality water to the people of southwestern North Dakota and is just a portion of the Republican's commitment to investing in infrastructure and addressing the oil impacts in our state."
Sponsors of House Bill 1269 are: Sen. Jerry Klein, Sen. David O'Connell, Rep. Jon Nelson, Rep. Robert Hunskor, Rep. Diane Larson and Rep. Chet Pollert.
"This bill shows how dedicated we are to answering the needs of North Dakota in a timely fashion," Rep. Al Carlson said. "The money funds provided will allow for projects to start this spring, rather than being delayed."
The Southwest Water Authority currently serves a population of more than 50,000 people in southwest North Dakota. With the governor's support for House Bill 1269, additional funding through the state's Resources Trust Fund will allow the Southwest Pipeline project to extend main transmission lines and complete other capital improvement projects that directly support the expansion of water service to more rural residents. The funding bill includes $21 million to expand the Southwest Water Pipeline project's capacity to serve residents in northern Dunn County as well as communities and rural areas east and west of Dickinson. The bill also includes about $10.3 million for rural water projects serving other areas of the state.