ND Senate OKs bill to provide snow removal grants to local governments
Legislation now goes to House.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Senate on Monday passed a bill that would provide up to $25 million in snow removal grants for local governments, sending it to the House.
Senate Bill 2183 is a response to the tough start of the snow season that saw three blizzards from October through December. Roughly 53 inches of snow fell in Burleigh County in that time frame -- more than double the norm, according to the National Weather Service.
The bill initially called for $30 million in aid to cities, counties, townships and tribal governments, as well as the state Transportation Department. Local governments would have needed to show that their cost of snow removal from October through December exceeded 200% of the average cost of snow removal over the past five years. An additional $5 million was set aside for costs incurred through April.
Amendments to the bill lowered the amount to $20 million from October through December and lowered the threshold to qualify for aid to 150%. The additional $5 million remains in the bill. If all of the $20 million is not used, the remaining funds would roll over into the October-to-April window.
The Transportation Department was removed from the bill. The Appropriations Committee decided the aid should be available only to local governments. They could apply for reimbursement of up to 60% of their costs.
The bill passed the Senate on a 46-0 vote.
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