July 9, 2010

Oil, gas counties director explains special session

Oil, gas counties director explains special session

By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

It isn’t that the Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties are denying that infrastructure issues exist in the oil patch, but the executive director of that organization says the timing of calling a special session to fix the roads is not appropriate.
Vicky Steiner, who lives and works in Dickinson and is one of the oil and gas producing counties and knows very well the issues that creep up when oil production spikes. Steiner has seen the boom in Stark County in the early 1980s and sympathizes with the residents of Mountrail County now.
But for four Democratic legislators, Rep. Kenton Onstad, Parshall, Sen. John Warner, Ryder, Rep. Tom Conklin, Douglas and Rep. Shirley Meyer, Dickinson, to call for a special session now, would not allow enough time to get funding to the counties and get their roads repaired in time before winter sets in.
“I can understand what’s going on with all the activity in the oil producing counties,” Steiner said. “It takes about a month to pull a special session together, and even now, if the counties got money by October, can something be done by January. What really could a county do with it. But in January the regular session begins and by March we should have a pretty good idea of what we can do.”
Instead of a special session that would cost money in and of itself, Steiner said the Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties will begin holding regional meetings throughout the summer to get educated and find out specifically what needs to be done to approach the Legislature when it goes into session.
 


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