Homeowners along Patterson Lake in Dickinson, ND are one step closer to owning their land, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
On Monday in a conference room at the West River Community Center in Dickinson, U.S. Senator John Hoeven hosted a roundtable discussion with homeowners, as well as, officials from Dickinson Parks and Recreation and the Bureau of Reclamation.
The discussion was focused on establishing a timeline for when Patterson Lake homeowners could start purchasing the lots their homes sit on.
The senator said that at the end of last year legislation (S.440) was passed federally allowing for the transfer of 41 lots from the Bureau of Reclamation to Dickinson Parks and Recreation.
Now it’s up to state lawmakers to pass a bill that will give parks and recreation the authority to sell the lots back to the homeowners at Patterson Lake.
To the delight of many on Monday, Representative Craig Headland of District 29 called in and announced that state representatives voted unanimously (93-0) on HB 1338.
The bill is sponsored by Headland, as well as, Sen. Rich Wardner, Rep. Mike Lefor, and Rep. Vicky Steiner of District 37.
It will now move onto the senate, and Headland said it should be voted on sometime in the next two weeks.
He also said the bill has strong support in the Senate, and he doesn’t perceive any issues arising.
Officials from the Bureau of Reclamation said they are currently drafting a Memorandum of Understanding with Dickinson Parks and Recreation for the transfer of the 41 lots and to identify boundaries.
James Kramer, director of Dickinson Parks and Recreation, said they would like to have the lots surveyed and appraised by this Summer.
Many homeowners who were in attendance were pleased with what they were hearing on Monday.
“I think we have addressed some of those concerns today. . . it sounds like maybe by the end of the year we could possibly be landowners,” said Tom Fisher, Paterson Lake homeowner and president of the Patterson Lake Home Owners Association.
Senator Hoeven introduced his bill to the Senate in 2017, and President Donald Trump signed into law this past December.