Minot leaders push state to continue funding hub cities

MINOT, N.D.- "Minot, Williston, and Dickinson are the gateway to the Bakken," said Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, Energy Development and Transmission Committee chairman.

Hub cities received state funding during the oil boom as newcomers poured in to North Dakota for work.

"They are impacted, they have been impacted and they have taken on debt to take care of the influx of population that came into this community and the other two communities in Western North Dakota," said Wardner.

Minot, Williston and Dickinson are still paying off debt for infrastructure projects they took on during the boom. It's one of the reasons local officials say the state should continue sending funds to hub cities.

"The oil boom was great but it had a big impact on our infrastructure. We want to demonstrate that to this interim committee and show them exactly what we're doing, how we're doing it, how we're paying for it, and what our needs might be in the future," said Chuck Barney, Mayor of Minot.

But now, millennials are taking over many Bakken communities. Wardner says the state needs to keep investing into quality of life for these young workers.

"They want good schools, they want good parks and rec. They want good water, and internet, and things of that nature, and quality infrastructure and streets. If they don't have them, they're not coming," said Wardner.

Even as the oil industry evolves, state and local officials agree that the state will benefit from continuing to support hub cities like Minot.