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'Prairie Dog' infrastructure money may be available earlier than predicted

It appears money from the “Prairie Dog” infrastructure bill will be available earlier than expected.

The bill was passed in the 2019 Legislature. It provides money to non-oil producing cities, counties and townships, funded through the state’s oil taxes.

The “Prairie Dog” Bill allocates $115 million to cities, $115 million to counties and townships, and $20 million to airports. It is aimed at “essential” infrastructure projects.

"We're tracking about 4 percent ahead of the forecast in oil tax revenues," said state Office of Management and Budget director Joe Morrissette.

Morrissette said the initial forecast assumed the funds would fill up towards the very end of this biennium.

"But as we track ahead of forecast, the timeline would increase a little bit," Morrissette said. "We would see those funds being accumulated towards the end of this calendar year, or the beginning of 2021."

Once the $250 million threshold is reached, the money would be available.

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