The latest news and happenings from Vision West ND.
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Crossover Period for ND Legislative Bills
The crossover period for ND Legislative bills began on February 23rd. Recess is over as of yesterday, and Legislators have reconvened for the second session. Here are updates on several bills
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relevant to Vision West ND:

HB 1366: Hub City and impact grant legislation to appropriate funds to hub cities, their school districts, and other communities impacted by oil development. Defeated - with assurance of it being revisited in second half of session.
HB 1368: Granting counties authority to appeal decision of State Board of Tax Equalization to district court. Narrowly defeated.
SB 2014: HIF re-authorization and $5 million in tax credits, and an additional $500.000 added for ESW Homeownership program. PASSED.
SB 2192: Would reauthorize the Housing Incentive Fund, and provide $20 million in tax credit authority/$20 million in appropriation. Also removes essential servies worker priority. DEFEATED - Amended into SB 2014.
SB 2234: Creating Essential Service Worker homeownership program, pulling from HIF funds. DEFEATED - Amdended into SB 2014.

SB 2252: Would make all saltwater disposal wells in North Dakota exempt from property taxes. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee sent the bill to the floor with a DO NOT PASS Recommendation
SB 2286: Intended to streamline the siting process of natural gas andoil transmission pipelines, essentially setting the Public Service Commission up as local zoning board. An amended version was APPROVED, compelling the PSC to consider factors a local zoning board would consider in a permit hearing.

Thanks to Geoff Simon from Western Dakota Energy Association for helping us gather this information! You can find more updates by checking out WDEA's Legislative Reports HERE.

Fighting to Keep Renaissance Zone Incentives

Image of main street in a small town
The North Dakota House passed HB 1182 last week, a bill that would take away the income tax portion of the incentive for Renaissance Zone projects, despite a second-day effort to have the bill reconsidered.

Thank you KayCee Lindsey for sharing the great editorial found HERE , written by Cecile Wehrman, News Editor and Publisher at The Journal. The piece, titled "Now is not the time to gut Renaissance Zone incentives," gives a strong argument for the benefit of keeping the income tax portion of the incentive in place, and putting an end to HB 1182 in the Senate.
2017-18 Vision West ND Executive Board

Vision West ND welcomes Donna Scott in her new role as Chairman of Vision West ND!

Image of Donna Scott

Others elected to the Executive Board include:
Chairman-Elect: Buster Langowski
Secretary: KayCee Lindsey
Member-at-Large: Neil Scharpe

Daryl Dukart will continue on the Executive Board as Past Chairman.

Thank you all for sharing your valuable time!

Featured Member

Read about what Mountrail County's Ag Agent/Weed Control Officer Jim Hennessy would do if he won 10 million dollars..

P.S. It's probably not what you think...

Find Out more about this Consortium Member!

 Image of children listening to story from Mrs. Claus (Bottineau, ND)
 Featured Project

Bottineau's 1st

Annual Christmas Festival

Downtown Bottineau was transformed into a winter wonderland on December 3rd of last year, complete with hay rides, caroling, visits and stories from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and much more!

The Christmas Festival was part of a bigger Go Local!ND campaign called "Buy In2 Bottineau," promoted by the Bottineau Retail Alliance. The campaign also includes a Customer Rewards Promo. Customers are rewarded for shopping at local stores by earning tickets that are entered in a monthly drawing to win Buy In2 Bottineau bucks, which can be used at participating stores. The next drawing is on March 21st.

Read more about the Buy In2 Bottineau campaign and promos on Bottineau Retail Alliance's Facebook Page.



(Monthly Highlighted Supporter, Leader, or Visionary Member)

The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF), a Vision West ND member, has been working with and supporting communities in western North Dakota for several decades and continues to be a partner in efforts to enhance this area of our state.The
organization's mission is to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens through charitable giving and promoting philanthropy. It accomplishes this mission primarily through growing and managing permanent endowment funds with communities, charities, businesses, and individuals in North Dakota. These funds generate grantable dollars every year that can be used for a multitiufe of projects and programs in North Dakota communities.

Click HERE to read about NDCF's programs, as well as projects that they've helped establish funds for.

John Heinen, NDCF's Development Director for western ND, is available for presentations to parties interested in learning more about the funds at NDCF. He can be contacted at 701-590-4614 or

'Round the Region

Logo for Energy Day

  • Energy Day will be held in Bismarck at the State Capitol on March 7th from 10AM-1PM CST, to showcase the future of oil and gas in ND's economy. Featured speakers include Helen Currie, Senior Economist at ConocoPhillips, Dean Bangsund, research scientist at NDSU, Kathy Neset, geologist and business leader, and Kevin Black, co-founder of Creedence Energy. Click on the image to the right for more info.
Southwest REAP logo
  • Southwest REAP is offering a Farm-to-Bottle Outreach Event, which will be held March 10th from 8:30-4:30 MST at Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery in Dickinson, ND. The event is designed to give an overview of the training, technical assistance, and resources that have become available to North Dakota producers interested in growing cold climate grapes, fruits, and vegetables. Click on the image to the left for more info.
Williston Area Chamber of Commerce logo

  • Williston Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Shamrockin' the Bakken Taste of Williston March 17th from 6:00-10:30 PM at the Grand Williston Hotel. Music by Whiskey Rebellion and food from local restaurants and vendors. Click on the image to the right for more info.
Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce logo

  • Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting Coffee With the Legislators March 11th and March 25th from 10:00-12:00PM MST at Dickinson City Call. Enjoy free refreshments while you join your Legislators to talk about important issues. Click on the image to the left for more info.

Worth a Chuckle...

A nonprofit staff went on a blind date. At the end of the dinner, her date said, “OK, here’s how this works. I can pay for this dinner. But I need you to pay first. Then I will reimburse you. However, I can’t pay for the drinks or appetizers or the sales tax or the tips. And the check will take 4 to 16 months to arrive.”

“Uh…OK…,” she said, “Now, remind me what do you do again?”

“I work in government. Contracting department.”

For Your Records
  • MEETING MINUTES: 2-16-17 Consortium Meeting (In-Person) - HERE
  • UPCOMING: Consortium Meeting (Conference Call) - March 16, 2016 @ 9:30 CST (TENTATIVE)
  • UPCOMING: Consortium Meeting (In-Person) - April 20th @ 10:00 CST in Washburn (TENTATIVE - More details will be provided as they become available)
In Next Issue...

- Look for more Legislative Updates relevant to VWND topics

- We will be adding a "Member's Wall" to the next newsletter, a designated advertising space for members at the Sponsor level or above. Send us your ad!

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