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Dickinson targeted for upcoming Oil Patch city study

State Rep. Vicky Steiner, R-Dickinson, visited the commission Monday to present an upcoming study of Oil Patch cities intended to provide data to help shape the next state budget and inform some interim legislative committees.

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State Rep. Vicky Steiner, R-Dickinson, presented a 2016 study on Monday during a Dickinson City Commission that will look at oil impacts and municipal budgetary concerns. Steiner asked the commission if it would be interested in particpating. (Press Photo by Andrew Haffner)

State Rep. Vicky Steiner, R-Dickinson, visited the commission Monday to present an upcoming study of Oil Patch cities intended to provide data to help shape the next state budget and inform some interim legislative committees.

Steiner, who is executive director of the North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties, said the study will create an impact forecasting analysis for continued oil development around six core cities, as well as a financial gap analysis to determine funding deficiencies those cities may experience down the line.

Among the questions asked throughout the study will be the sufficiency of the money allocated by the state to hub cities under the state’s current gross production tax formula, she said.

“These results, we feel, will be a critical tool moving forward,” Steiner said.

The association, she added, did a 2015 study which tried to show the rapid growth and associated challenges faced by Dickinson and other western cities through the rapid years of oil expansion.

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The upcoming 2016 study, which will be completed in June, will also pair with North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources and additional transportation data to give an “overall, statistical picture” of the current situation, Steiner said.

Such a picture will be useful in the future when debating future allocations of the state gross production tax, she added.

“You cannot really go in and visit with state stakeholders unless you have data behind that you can discuss with them,” Steiner said.

The study, which would focus on Dickinson, Watford City, Williston, Tioga, Stanley and Killdeer, would require a 50 percent cost share on the part of the city to match a $25,000 contribution by the association.

Commission members expressed early agreement with the study, with Commission President Gene Jackson commenting he “can’t imagine we won’t be interested,” but adding that city staff will need to be consulted.

Commission member Scott Decker said he believed the city’s contribution to participate in the study would be “money well-spent” and said he thought it would be necessary data to have before the next state legislative session.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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