A few days ago, a letter to the editor appeared in The Minot Daily News concerning the disparity in “Hub City” funding between Minot, Williston, and Dickinson.
First of all, the designation of “Hub City” (3 major cities central to oil and gas development) funding was based solely on the percentage of employment engaged in the mining (Primarily oil and gas) industry in each of the three respective communities and, incidentally, the actual funding from this designation was $9 million (not including $1.5 Million “Hub City” funding for Minot Public Schools) for Minot and not $7.6 million as was previously noted. Mining employment (Based on 2012 numbers) is 5.3 percent (Recently – passed legislation re-defines mining employment that could easily double Minot’s percentage in the coming year) in Minot, 20.4 percent in Dickinson, and 42.2 percent in Williston.
The past legislative session appropriated $114 million in state energy and flood-related assistance to the Minot area including $14 million for infrastructure, $25 million for the new airport, $61 million for flood protection engineering and flood-damaged home buy-outs, and $14 million for NAWS.
This does not include $1.5 million for the FEMA park, $5 million for flood expenditures at MSU, sales tax refunds estimated at $5 million, $2.75 million for infrastructure at the State Fairgrounds, or the Rebuilders Loan Program and extension at approximately $8 million.
In addition, appropriations/Funding allocations for MSU, the North Dakota State Fair, the North Central Human Service Center, the North Central Research Extension Center, Minot Public Schools, State aid distribution allocations for Minot and Ward County, transportation funding allocations for Minot and Ward County energy development impact grants for sewer projects in Minot, and a MAFB realignment grant for a grand total of over $250 million.
According to a senior city of Minot administrative official, “Minot did very very well” as a result of the recent legislative session.
As legislators representing Minot, our intent was to fund our priorities, maintain a healthy financial condition, and pass meaningful property tax relief while rebuilding from a disaster and ensuring our future prosperity.
(This letter was signed by Sen. Randy Burckhard (R), Sen. David Hogue (R), Sen. Karen Krebsbach (R), Sen. Oley Larsen (R), Rep. Larry Bellew (R), Rep. Roger Brabandt (R), Rep. Bob Frantsvog (R), Rep. Matt Klein (R), Rep. Scott Louser (R), Rep. Andy Maragos (R), Rep. Dan Ruby (R), Rep. Roscoe Streyle (R))