Dalrymple signs 2 historic infrastructure
Dalrymple signs 2 historic infrastructure investment packages
2-year DOT budget is unprecedented in state’s history
By MARVIN BAKER
Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed two historic House bills into law this week that should be a shot in the arm for western North Dakota’s oil and gas producing counties.
On Monday, Dalrymple was joined by legislators in the state capitol where he signed House Bill 1012, the state Department of Transportation’s $1.73 billion budget 2011-13 budget which included unprecented investments to improve roadways throughout North Dakota.
On Tuesday, the governor signed House Bill 1013, which provides $100 million to help communities in North Dakota’s oil and gas producing counties offset direct impacts created by the rapidly developing energy industry.
“The remarkable growth in oil and gas development in western North Dakota and the no-less pressing needs for infrastructure improvements in other areas throughout the state demand that we make these historic investments,” Dalrymple said. “This bill (HB 1012) provides the largest two-year budget for road construction and transportation services in the history of the state Department of Transportation. This much needed statewide infrastructure package is an investment in public safety, in our quality of life and in our continued economic growth.”
There’s one legislator who lives in oil country who is skeptical of the Legislature’s generosity. Rep. Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall, said the money is a start but isn’t nearly enough to fix the expanding infrastructure issues facing the 17 oil and gas producing counties.
Onstad, who called for a special session of the Legislature last summer under then Gov. John Hoeven, was quickly denied citing the Legislature would meet in several months anyway.