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'Prairie Dog' infrastructure bill money will soon be available

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North Dakota’s state treasurer says cities and counties outside the Oil Patch should expect some money soon from “Operation Prairie Dog.”

That bill – passed by the 2019 Legislative Session – provides funding from the oil and gas gross production tax for cities, counties, townships and airports in non-oil producing areas. The formula allocates $115 million for the cities, $115 million for counties and townships, and $20 million for airports. The money is to go toward infrastructure.

State Treasurer Thomas Beadle said the “bucket” for Prairie Dog needs another $52.5 million to be filled. And he expects that to happen with the December oil tax collection.

"We've been averaging well above that $52.5 million in those collections going into these buckets for each of the last six months," Beadle said. "So we fully expect that to fill when we get the collections this month.

Beadle said once the buckets fill, the treasurer has 60 days to distribute the money.

"We are currently working with our city and county partners to get the authorization forms filled out, so that we can transfer the money as soon as possible," Beadle said.

Beadle said his office is still waiting on about a hundred authorization forms – and he’s asking the local government to get them filled out and sent, so they can get their share of the funding.

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