N.D. Legislators Propose $280 Million Infrastructure Plan
The funding would focus on non-oil producing regions
NORTH DAKOTA — State Republican lawmakers proposed a $280 million infrastructure funding package.
The funding package is broken into three brackets, including the county level, municipal, and airport infrastructure needs.
“By doing this, by bringing money across the state to non–oil producing regions, we are not taking away from the needs that they have out west. The hub cities and those types of things, they’re still be funded. They’re being shifted around in a formula,” State Rep. Al Carlson (R-ND), House Majority Leader, said.
The funding is focused on non–oil producing counties. Money will go towards roads, bridges and sewer systems in the Eastern part of North Dakota. Funds will be given out based on the populations of cities and towns.
Fargo would receive $25.3 million, West Fargo $12.4 million, and Horace $1 million.
“If you’re putting that much more money on the table to be utilized, we will use it for one time infrastructure projects that we need, keep our city healthy, keep our infrastructure,” Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said.
“There’s a lot of needs on our paved roads, gravel roads, and our bridges. We have a lot of bridges that were designed for those 1950 pieces of farm equipment and we need to get them up to handle today’s farm equipment. So our agriculture producers can get those crops off those fields and into the elevators in a timely matter,” Jason Benson, Cass County engineer, said.
Legislators say the funding package will help build critically needed infrastructure across the state, while still providing some tax relief to communities.
“Every dollar that comes back to this county and this city is one dollar the taxpayer doesn’t have to pay on their houses and special assessments,” Carlson said.
Governor Doug Burgum said in a statement that he’s still analyzing the plan and he looks forward to working with lawmakers to make sure tax dollars are being used efficiently.
Democratic-NPL leaders released a statement calling the infrastructure plan shortsighted. They say it leaves cities and counties vulnerable to drops in the oil market.