June 6, 2010

Legislators request special session

Legislators request special session
Oil-producing counties need a shot in the arm now
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

Four legislators who live in oil-producing counties, have sent a letter to Gov. John Hoeven requesting a special session of the Legislature convene to rectify the infrastructure needs in several counties in western North Dakota.
Rep. Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall, said a courier delivered the letter to the governor’s office Tuesday afternoon and although the letter didn’t request a timeline, Onstad would like to see it happen as soon as possible because as he described, the roads in the oil patch are getting beat up beyond repair.
Onstad was joined by Sen. John Warner, D-Ryder, Rep. Tom Conklin, D-Douglas and Rep. Shirley Meyer, D-Dickinson, as signators.
“We’ve been a sacrificial lamb for two years now. We need to seriously look at this,” Onstad said. “Our last resort of the county (Mountrail) is to add weight restrictions, so we’re making this request to look at roads and infrastructure in western North Dakota.”
Onstad said a session should convene as soon but he suspects Hoeven will want to visit the oil producing counties to see the situation first hand. Hoeven and staff members were in Williston in April to meet with officials there regarding housing and infrastructure needs.
Onstad said a visit by the governor would be a good start but more needs to be done. Oil traffic is beating up the roads, paved and gravel, there isn’t enough manpower to maintain the roads or get new gravel and law enforcement is no longer able to handle the masses.

 


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