June 18, 2015

Could have been better

City council reviews legislature’s performance

By Jerry W. Kram

There was a lot at stake for the cities and counties of the oil patch in the 2015 North Dakota Legislative Session. So much so, that the city, along with a number of other oil patch communities, hired Shane Goettle to represent their interests during the session. Goettle gave his final assessment of the session at the Parshall City Council’s regular meeting on June 10.

Parshall did well, Goettle said, as did other communities across the oil patch. However, they could have done better if oil prices hadn’t collapsed at the end of 2014. As it was, Parshall will still receive at least $8.6 million over the coming biennium. Almost half that amount, $4.1 million, is already in the bank for what was called "surge" funding. That money is required to go for projects that will begin in the 2015 fiscal year. The rest will be distributed over the next two years.

Goettle said that Parshall and other Mountrail County communities are at a disadvantage compared to other cities in the oil patch. Funding from the oil extraction tax is distributed on a county by county basis. Divide, McKenzie and Dunn County just have one larger community to use the funds earmarked for cities while Stanley, New Town and Parshall have to split the share designated for cities in Mountrial County.


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