BISMARCK, North Dakota — Leaders of communities in the western North Dakota oil patch say they need more state help to deal with the effects of the oil boom.
The officials are likely to approach the Legislature next year for a bigger chunk of the state's oil and gas production tax revenue — from the current 25 percent to 60 percent, The Bismarck Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1gkLoBw ).
"The needs don't go away. They get bigger and they get left undone," Williston City Commissioner Brad Bekkedahl said.
Williston is to get $60 million from the state during the current two-year budget cycle that ends in June 2015, but the city has more than $200 million in infrastructure projects underway and has reached its bonding limit, Bekkedahl said.
Watford City expects about $20 million from the state but has about $190 million in infrastructure needs, according to Mayor Brent Sanford. State funding for the next two years is "a bitter disappointment," he said.
Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel said his city is essentially "going to mortgage 20 years of our future" to address this year's infrastructure projects.
A more sizeable state investment is critical to the cities most impacted by energy development and the new people it is bringing to the state, Kessel said.
"If they can't go to Dickinson, if they can't go to Williston, if they can't go to Watford City, if they can't go to Minot, where are they going to go?" he said. "An investment in western North Dakota will pay off in spades."
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com