A question for legislators

Jim Maxson, Minot

The June 2013 publication of the Bakken Magazine contains a report from the North Dakota Petroleum Council regarding how much money the 2013 North Dakota Legislature distributed to oil impacted cities.

Dickinson received $26.4 million. Williston received $52.4 million. Minot received $7.6 million. It is quite obvious that Dickinson and Williston are severely impacted by the oil boom. It is also quite obvious that Minot is severely impacted by the oil boom. Minot may now have as many as 53,000 people living within its city limits according to a reliable source working for the city. It was around 40,000 within fairly recent history.

Additionally, in 2011, around 13,000 people had their homes trashed by the Souris River flood. Several hundred homes remain abandoned two years later and are literally rotting. The strains on Minot’s infrastructure regarding housing, law enforcement, schools, traffic, street repair, etc. are quite obvious. Why did Minot receive 28.8 percent of what Dickinson received and 14.5 percent of what Williston received for oil impact money?

I am asking this question politely because the public has the right to know. Our Minot legislative delegation should have the presumption of innocence, but not the right to remain silent. I respectfully ask our Minot legislators to justify this. I respectfully request the local media to require them to justify this. There may well be a good answer. Let’s hear it.