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Oil patch growth creates funding nightmare

Nov 8, 2017

by Amy Sisk, Prairie Public Radio

The decade-long shale fracking boom in North Dakota sent the population of oil patch communities soaring. These towns beefed up their public services to accommodate all the newcomers, but this sent their finances plummeting at a time when the price of oil tanked.

Oil patch towns have received a lot of money to build up their infrastructure and public services thanks to the hub city tax formula. Dickinson city officials say they simply won’t be able to pay their bills without state funding, and they see more infrastructure needs on the horizon.

Hub City funding

Convincing the Legislature to continue hub city funding is an endless task. The past few legislative sessions, the state has allocated money to hub cities just two years at a time. Dickinson’s leaders have to make the case over and over again for why the state should keep sending the extra money their way. It’s a tougher sell right now.

Click here to read or listen to the full Prairie Public article.

For more stories about North Dakota's oil industry, see Inside Energy.

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