N.D. City, County Officials Head for White House


Leaders from several cities and counties across North Dakota will be at the White House this week, making their case for smart federal government involvement in the state.

Jim Olson talked with two local mayors about their expectations for the Thursday meeting.

From farming to energy issues to flood protection – the federal government has a big role to play in North Dakota.
At least that’s the message the mayors of Williston and Minot will be taking to the White House this week.

(Howard Klug, Williston Mayor) “My main goal is to tell them what’s going on in western North Dakota.”
(Shaun Sipma, Minot Mayor) “It’s critically important to make sure the federal government knows just how important it is.” 

Sipma and Klug have some specific items on their agenda for federal officials.

(Howard Klug, Williston Mayor) “The energy industry we have out here – it’s big time. It’s fueling North Dakota and it’s helping the economy and I want to make sure that what they’re planning in Washington allows us to continue to drill for the Bakken Shale oil and those kind of things and make sure they’re not changing too much.”

Klug also says he intends to stress the importance to finalizing a new farm bill.

(Howard Klug, Williston Mayor) “Probably the most important thing is the farm bill and where is that going and what are they doing and how is that going to impact farmers in this area.”

As for Sipma, he wants to make sure the White House knows that state and local sources have been stepping up in providing flood protection along the Mouse River, and it’s time for the feds to get involved.

(Shaun Sipma, Minot Mayor) “What we’re hoping to let them know is the recovery isn’t over. The recover in terms of the safety and security of the citizens of Minot means having that flood control done.”

Sipma also points to money to finish the Northwest Area Water Supply project, and major highway work as key items. And he’s hopeful the top federal official shows up.

(Shaun Sipma, Minot Mayor) “There’s always the hope that the president might be part of those conversations and we certainly hope so.”

But that remains to be seen. Jim Olson, KX News.

Along with Williston and Minot, mayors from Rugby, Devils Lake, West Fargo, Grand Forks, and Horace are attending.
In addition, Sheriffs from Dunn, McKenzie, Billings, Stark and Hettinger Counties, and a county commissioner from Morton County are among the officials headed for the White House.
The meeting happens Thursday.

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