The latest news and happenings from Vision West ND.
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ND's Active Rig Count Continues to Rise with DAPL

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Thanks to the opening of DAPL and the subsequent savings on transportation costs it affords, energy companies such as Hess Corp and Oasis Petroleum, are re-activating and/or building more drilling rigs in the Bakken region again. This article by Reuters indicates that the state’s drilling rig count has increased 40% since early February, though when fact-checked with the actual number counts, that increase became closer to 35%. Nonetheless, according to the Department of Mineral Resources, over the last year from April 13, 2016 to April 13, 2017, North Dakota’s active drilling rig count has increased by 70%. Analysts expect the rig count to go up another ten percent or more by the end of the year.

As Hess Corp’s Chief Executive Officer John Hess put it, “We’re back to growth in the Bakken.”

AE2S Says goodbye to Loren Hoffman

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Loren Hoffman, AE2S's Municipal Financial Services Coordinator and long-time representative to Vision West ND, is retiring. He has served Vision West ND since prior to consortium's formation.

Join AE2S's retirement celebration for Loren on Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 5:30-8:00 PM at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck, ND. RSVP:

64th Assembly Legislative Updates
Things are winding down for the 64th Assembly Legislative Session, though they're not done yet. Here are more updates on several bills relevant to VWND:

HB 1151: Relating to the reporting of well pad or oil and gas production facility fluid spills. PASSED in House and
Senate, signed by governor on 4/10.
HB 1182:
Removing income tax portion of the incentive for Renaissance Zone projects. Amended version PASSED in House, FAILED TO PASS in Senate, with similar bill SB 2166 PASSED.
HB 1320:
Relating to a uniform truck permitting system for oversized or overweight vehicles and local authority to limit use of vehicles on highways; and to provide a penalty. PASSED by House and Senate, signed in by governor on 4/13.

SB 2014: HIF re-authorization and $5 million in tax credits, and an additional $500.000 added for ESW Homeownership program. Amended version PASSED in Senate, House refused to concur, Conference Committee appointed.

SB 2286: Streamlining the siting process of natural gas and oil transmission pipelines, essentially setting the Public Service Commission up as local zoning board. An amended version PASSED in House and Senate, signed by the governor on 4/10.
SB 2327: Establishes State Department of Environmental Quality. PASSED in House and Senate, signed by Governor on 4/10.

Thanks again to Geoff Simon from Western Dakota Energy Association for helping us gather this information, amd Max Wentz for keeping us in the loop about HIF. You can find more updates by checking out WDEA's Legislative Reports HERE, or by going to the 65th Legislative Assembly webpage and keying the number of the bill you are looking for in the top right search engine.

Featured Member

Despite holding 3 county titles as Tax Equalization Director, Planning & Zoning Coordinator, and 911 Coordinator, Billings County's Stacey Swanson still manages to find time to hit the Bully Pulpit Golf Course..

Find Out more about this Consortium Member!

 Featured Project

Watford Market

In the summer of 2016, then director of the McKenzie County Heritage Park, Daniel Stenberg was looking for ways to get more people to come to the park, a park which shows the history of the county through historic buildings scattered across its seven acres. At that same time, Watford had had a small farmers market for decades in a parking lot off main street, but with the population boom, it soon became evident that it needed a new location. Thus, Watford Market at Heritage Park began.

In addition to having the traditional locally-grown fruits and vegetables for sale, Watford Market opened their doors to homemade foods and items as well. Further, Watford City Lions Club served hamburgers, Long X Arts Foundation lined up live musicians, and various local organizations (e.g. Cattlewomens; 4H; Mothers of Preschoolers; Prairie Rose Quilters, Fort Union Trading Post, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems) demonstrated a skill or provided an activity/info about their organization. Over the season, it averaged 13 vendors, and 275 attendees at each of its Thursday evening gatherings. Plans are in the works to do it again this summer.

Read more on Watford Market on their Facebook Page.

'Round the Region

  • The 6th Annual Bakken Brew Fest will be held on April 22, 2017 starting at 5:30 at the Richland County Fair Event Center in Sidney, MT. Contact the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture to participate as brewer, volunteer, or purchase tickets to attend this popular annual event! Click on the image to the right for more info.

Southwest REAP logo
  • Bowman Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Ladies Night Out on April 28, 2017 in Bowman, ND. Joing with other women in the community to visit participating local shops, and meet up later in the evening at Windy's Bar & Pizza for a chance to win $100 in bonus bucks! Click on the image to the left for more info.
Williston Area Chamber of Commerce logo

  • 4th Annual junk/craft fair, "A Trashy Affaire," will be held at the Beulah Civic Center on April 29, 2017 from 9:00-3:00. Booth space is available. Food and refreshments will also be sold. Click on the image to the right for more info.
Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce logo

  • The Blue Hawk Stampede Rodeo will be held on May 5-6, 2017 at the Stark County Fairgrounds. Come cheer the Blue Hawks on in their home event! Click on the image to the left for more info.

Worth a Chuckle...

A conference call is the best way for a dozen people to practice saying "bye" 300 times.

For Your Records
  • MEETING MINUTES: 2-16-17 Consortium Meeting (In-Person) - HERE
  • UPCOMING: Consortium Meeting (In-Person) - April 20, 2017 @ 9:00 AM CST in Washburn, ND at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (2576 8th St SW)
In Next Issue...

- We are still waiting on ads and company articles/profiles from our Vision West ND members for our "Super Supporters" section, and to create our "Member's Wall." Please send us you stuff!

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