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Southwest Water Authority mill levy extended to 2020

The Southwest Water Authority will continue to receive funding from its mill levies through 2020.

Senate Bill 2193, which extends the mill levy another ten years, passed the North Dakota House of Representatives by a vote of 78-12 Wednesday in Bismarck.

SWA's Chief Executive Officer Mary Massad said the extension of the mill levy means its revenue stream will remain constant and they can continue what they've been doing.

"By having that mill levy, those who have paid in the past for all the work that has been done to get our project to where it's at, we'll still be able to stay the course and continue what we've been doing without impacting our water rates," Massad said.

Opposing the bill was a contingent of legislators from the Bismarck-Mandan area. Mandan property owners pay property taxes in Morton County, which levies a mill for the SWA.

"Residents are paying taxes to Morton County and are getting services," Rep. David Drovdal, R-Watford City said. "We don't carve any city out just for county taxes anywhere in North Dakota."

It's part of the overall water project in North Dakota, to get good quality water throughout the state. Water is an essential thing of growing our economy," Drovdal said.