Those of us who serve in public office and have sat in traffic jams with 18-wheelers (or bigger) on oil patch roads in western north Dakota wonder if the mayor of Williston has reason to be as satisfied as he says he is.
Mayor Koeser wrote a letter saying that everything was under control because of an agreement he has what Gov. Hoeven in dealing with the significant impact of oil development in Williston.
The evidence demonstrates something quite different for the rest of western North Dakota. We have huge problems with road conditions, congested truck traffic, lack of housing and the needs for a great deal of infrastructure investment.
Oil development in western North Dakota is a great asset for all of us, but it also brings with it a number of problems and challenges that have to be solved. The revenue that the state collects from this energy development needs to be moved to the affected areas as a part of a plan to address these issues before they worsen.
This oil development is going to continue for decades. It’s not practical to let our problems fester because our state Legislature only meets every two years. Although Mr. Koeser might feel like his problems are taken care of, ours aren’t.
The dramatic impact that this oil development is having in Western North Dakota and the immediate need for real investment in our infrastructure, call for the state government to stop foot-dragging and start moving to address these problems.
We don’t need Band-Aids; we need help for the present and a real plan for the future. We need to be sure we are not only experiencing the full benefit of this energy development but also fully meeting the challenges that come with it.
It’s my judgment that this is nowhere near the case with our state government today.
Greg Boschee, Parshall, Mountrail County commissioner