Meeting Infrastructure Needs | VideoJennifer Joas | 2/4/2013
Leaders from western North Dakota made their presence known at the legislature today in support of an infrastructure bill.
"As I`ve said, I`m from Williams County. The land of hope and dreams, the land of no left turns where we do everything quickly," said Williams County Commissioner Dan Kalil.
Kalil is a farmer, rancher and county commissioner near Williston. He has seen the oil industry impacts first hand, and came to speak to legislators about how desperately they need the state`s help.
"We need the state to come forward and we expect the state because we`re sacrificing everything up there, including our quality of life, in this oil boom."
Others spoke out from Mountrail County about what they call the invasion of the oil industry.
"In most instances, it`s almost unmanageable. Our way of life has been turned upside down. And in a lot of cases, it`s not for the good," said Mountrail County Commissioner David Hynek.
Leaders in western North Dakota say this is one of the most important bills this session in addressing all of the challenges they`re facing.
"I think our local community and the financing piece really needs to have some security. And this would then be able to ensure that we would be getting a $20 million within the next couple of years," said Williston Public Schools Superintendent Viola LaFontaine.
Through the bill, cities would get $750,000 for each percentage of people they have working in the oil and gas industry. So for Williston with 40 percent of its population working in that field, the city would receive $30 million per year, which Kalil says will be a great help to western North Dakota.
The bill would also provide $250,000 for each percentage of workers to school districts.