House appropriations wants to make changes to SIRN project

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A bill meant to continue a decade worth of work on a Statewide Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN) for first responders isn’t getting the same support in the appropriations committee as it did in a previous house committee.

House Bill 1435 has been amended to remove a $40 million appropriation and add it to the line of credit.

The proposed $120 million line of credit would be paid back by the information technology department over 30 years. Cities and counties would be responsible for approximately $80 million in remaining costs.

The House Government and Veterans Affairs committee eliminated a previous provision which would have set a fixed interest rate of 1.5 percent.

New language in the bill says the Bank of North Dakota would charge “prevailing interest rate charged to North Dakota governmental entities.”

We asked ITD for a comment and they say “they’re still evaluating the agency budget as a whole.”