October 18, 2012

Refinery site becomes tribal land

Refinery site becomes tribal land
By Jerry W. Kram

The project to build a diesel fuel refinery on North Dakota Highway 23 near Makoti got another boost as Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar came to New Town to announce that the site of the project will be transferred from fee land status to trust land under tribal control.
Salazar and Three Affiliated Tribes Tribal Chairman Tex Hall announced the decision in the Tribal Administration building on Oct. 10. The Three Affiliated Tribes requested that Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) accept a 469-acre piece of property into trust, with a proposed refinery on about 190 acres and the remaining acreage to be used for the production of feed for the Tribes’ buffalo herd.
Hall said the change in status of the land will allow the tribal government to issue Tribal Economic Development Bonds to investors to finance the construction of the refinery.
“What this announcement means is now the financing can move forward today,” Hall said “So the investors will be partners, if you will.”

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