Oil Bonuses Aid North Dakota Cities - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Oil Bonuses Aid North Dakota Cities

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More than $100 million in oil bonuses will now aid communities across the state, especially those in oil producing counties.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that the state owns mineral rights below the high water mark on both shores of major rivers. This frees up millions of dollars in oil bonuses for communities.

"I mean, at least in the neighborhood of $135 to $140 million goes to this strategic investment improvements fund, is what it's called. It's a fund set up by state legislation for infrastructure type projects. Part of it, for example, is going to the Attorney General's office for $10 million of grants for law enforcement," says State Land Commissioner, Lance Gaebe.

Gaebe says the decision by the Supreme Court has answered the major question of ownership up to the high water mark. Individual landowners can still claim ownership if they can show that the state sold or granted them part of the shore zone in the past.

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