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N.D. Land Board awards nearly $8M to oil-impacted schools

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BISMARCK – The state Land Board awarded nearly $8 million Thursday to K-12 schools affected by oil and gas development in western North Dakota, while also providing $2 million to reconstruct the Killdeer airport’s runway, hangar and taxiway.

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The board, officially known as the Board of University and School Lands, approved 33 projects totaling $7,888,459 for schools, giving priority to safety and security needs, teacher housing, temporary portable classrooms and other projects needed to prepare for the upcoming school year, according to the governor’s office.

The largest award Thursday from the Oil and Gas Impact Grant Fund was $3 million to the McKenzie County School District for roads and utilities around its $50 million high school under construction in Watford City.

State lawmakers set aside $240 million for energy impact grants to schools, cities, airports, sheriffs and other political subdivisions during the 2013-15 biennium. The board has awarded or pledged nearly $196 million since July 2013. Of the $25 million set aside for K-12 schools, the board has awarded 65 grants totaling about $15.5 million.

A list of Thursday’s awards can be found at www.nd.gov/energyimpact.

The Land Board consists of Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.

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The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, stretching from the oilfields of western North Dakota to the plains of South Dakota and to the shores of eastern Minnesota. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.
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