October 23, 2008

County Commission eyeing oil and gas association




The North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties, headquartered in Dickinson, provides leadership and direction to counties influenced by the production and transport of oil and natural gas.

As the oil industry knocks its heavy hand on Mercer County’s door, the Mercer County Commission decided Wednesday to apply for membership in that association.

The membership fee for Mercer County to become part of the NDAOGPC is about $100 right now, County Auditor Monte Erhardt said, and set on a sliding scale. The more oil produced, the higher membership dues will be.

Along with the association’s guidance, the county would be able to implement a truck-permitting system. From June 2007 to June 2008, Dunn County took in $155,779 from permits, Commissioner Frank Bitterman noted. The fees are paid per truck, per trip. There is then a $100 charge for expired permits.

The commission appointed Mercer County Sheriff Dean Danzeisen and County State’s Attorney Jim Johnson to devise a county permitting process.

"My biggest concern is we become a member of this association, and then install fees," Danzeisen said. "We want to get on top of it right away. Let’s not wait."

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