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Politics & Government

ND County Commissioners formally oppose Measure 5

The North Dakota County Commissioners’ Association is on record opposing Measure Five on the November Ballot.

Measure Five has been dubbed “The Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks” amendment. It’s a Constitutional amendment that would take five percent of the collections of the oil extraction tax, and use it for conservation purposes.

The Association debated a resolution calling for a “no” vote. And there was debate.

"I'm here to oppose that resolution," said Barnes County Commissioner John Froelich. "I realize that's not very popular here today, but I have thick skin."

Froelich says contrary to information sent by Measure 5 opponents, the measure is not about a land grab.

"It';s about a voluntary North Dakota CRP program," said Froelich. "It's about a voluntary water bank program , a voluntary tree planting program. I've lived in North Dakota all my life, and I'm in favor of protecting what we have."

Commissioners who oppose Measure 5 -- and supported the resolution -- said it was too much money, and if conservation programs need more money, the Legislature should be in charge of that.

"I think messing with the Constitution is a dangerous thing to do," said Divide County Commissioner Doug Graupe. And his concerns were echoed by Grand Forks County Commissioner Gary Malm.

"If this one passes, where do we go next?" said Malm. "People will no longer have a voice."

The resolution passed on a voice vote.

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