HUB City Funding For Minot, Williston, & Dickinson

Despite a recent downturn, North Dakota's oil and gas industry is still a backbone of the state's economy.

And cities are still dealing with the oil boom impacts while the state's coffers aren't as flush with money.
Here's why one Hub City is making the case to still be funded.

"You would've thought that those young people would've left if we were not oil impacted. They've chosen to stay here," said Randy Burckhard, District 5 Senate.

A few years ago Western North Dakota boomed. People from across the country were coming here to work in the oil and gas industry and our cities were growing rapidly.

"Minot Public Schools, last year they graduated 440 seniors they have 731 Kindergarteners," said Burckhard.

That kind of growth comes with a big dollar sign.  

"We're paying for roadway improvements, we're paying for water improvements that would be water tanks, water lines, we're paying for sewer improvements," said Tom Barry, Minot City Manager.

Which is why when oil started to boom, Minot, Williston and Dickinson were designated Hub Cities, meaning they could collect a small percentage of money from the oil and natural gas production and distribution taxes.

"Hub Cities only collect 2 1/2%," said Barry.

HUB City Funding is based off of population and mining employment in the cities. A legislative committee is  touring the three HUB Cities to get a better feel for the impacts to those communities and the roles they play in the Bakken.

"Our offices here in Minot support all of the production happening out in Western North Dakota," Katie Haarager, Enbridge.

"We don't believe that the residents of the City of Minot should bear the burden of the infrastructure that's been required to support the oil and gas industry," said Barry.

Lawmakers toured Minot this week -- as the city made their case to stay on the list because of the benefits being a hub city brings to the community.

"Those dollars are really being helped to build communities. Want to have good schools, have good health care, have activities for their kids, resources, and infrastructure available," said Haarsager.

The legislative committee will discuss changing the funding formula to better fit the needs of HUB cities before lawmakers reconvene in 2019.

Minot witnesses about a 30% reduction in Hub City Funding this biennium which is equivalent to 2 million dollars.

In Hub City Funding-- Minot receives about 10 percent, Dickinson gets around 30 percent, and Williston gets the rest with 60 percent.

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