State budget causes concern over promised funding for new Williston Basin International Airport

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The Williston Basin International Airport is just a few weeks away from breaking ground.

However, questions over the state budget have led to concerns over promised funding.

No one disputes that a new Williston airport is important.

"A necessary part of the regional part of the regional infrastructure and a necessary part of the infrastructure for the oil industry to succeed," said Rep. Marvin Nelson, D-District 9.

But, with the state budget reeling, that might complicate things.

"The oil impact fund was scheduled to have about $140 million into it, and we were part of that. In the budget revisions earlier this year, it looked like the fund would only fill to $22 million out of that 140." Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, R-District 1.

The state is supposed to give $50 million for the project. Some of that money has already come through. However, some politicians think the rest might be affected.

"If you haven't gotten the check, and the reason you haven't gotten the check is because there's no money, there's no guarantee," said Nelson

One possibility is to delay it until the oil impact fund fills back up.

"It's a reimbursement anyway. We have to spend the money first, get the money back on a reimbursement," said Bekkedahl.

Even if funding is delayed, however, that will have no effect on the project.

"It wasn't scheduled to be spent anyway until sometime next summer, next fall. So, I'm optimistic that we're going to deal with this fine," said Bekkedahl.

Bekkedahl says there should be no new city taxes to compensate.

The groundbreaking for the new airport is scheduled for October.