The new water policy bill passed by the Legislature has a provision for a revolving loan fund.
One of the architects of the measure – Rep. Curt Hofstad (R-Devils Lake) – says the idea came out of the Legislature’s Water Topics Overview Committee. He says right after the floods of 2011, representatives of several cities affected by the floodwaters appeared before that committee.
"They came to us, first of all, with the assessments of the damages the communities suffered," said Hofstad. "Then they came to us, hand in hand with their engineers, with plans to rebuild. Then they came with the costs."
Hofstad says those costs were overwhelming.
"Although the resources trust fund was growing exponentially, it quickly became apparent that it doesn't have enough money to address all those issues," said Hofstad.
So, Hofstad says the bill sets aside 10 percent of the resources trust fund as a revolving loan fund. He says that’s about $50 million in the upcoming biennium. And Hofstad says that loan fund should continue to grow. The state Water Commission will manage the loan program.