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North Dakota “Great Recession” real estate crisis?

real estate crisis indicated by unfinished apartment

The North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner recently reported a $63 million shortfall in anticipated sales tax collections in December of 2015. Sales tax collections have declined by over 50 percent in some oil patch cities. Even with a massive state investment program and projects that were financed prior to the recent decline in oil prices, sales tax revenues still collapsed. Plunging sales ...

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In North Dakota, donations slip as oil slides

salvation army williston

BISMARCK, N.D. — Thousands of layoffs from the oil industry’s slide have taken a toll on donations in western North Dakota’s oil patch, just as charities say their need is increasing. Donations to the Salvation Army were down by more than 60 percent in Williston, in the heart of oil country, as of mid-December. And energy companies that used to ...

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$5.4M in enrollment growth grants doled out to ND schools

property tax reform

BISMARCK, N.D. — Thirty-five school districts in North Dakota have received a total of $5.4 million in grants to help them cope with unusually high enrollment growth. The Legislature earlier this year set aside nearly $15 million in the Department of Public Instruction’s two-year budget for the grants. State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced the first grants Monday. “The way ...

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Alexander looks to co-op with Williston for spring sports


ALEXANDER, N.D. — The Alexander and Williston school systems are considering a cooperative for spring sports. Alexander has partnered with Watford City in the past, but the Williston Herald reports that Watford City isn’t continuing the co-op this school year so that it can remain under the Class B enrollment cap. Watford City has been growing due to the western ...

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Meetings scheduled to discuss pipeline reclamation program


BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is holding two town hall meetings to discuss its pipeline restoration and reclamation program. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the meetings are meant to help farmers, ranchers, landowners and others resolve land surface issues and answer other questions about the program. Goehring says a new brochure will be made available to ...

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Oil still drives development in Watford City

The construction phase of the Watford City school complex. Photo: Watford City Real Estate Group.

Even with the price of oil hovering around its 52-week lows, development in the Watford City, ND micropolitan area continues unabated. The vast majority of oil and gas produced in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale play is concentrated in four counties: Dunn, Mountrail, Williams and McKenzie counties. Seeking to maximize operational efficiency, the industry’s regional offices are tending to aggregate in, ...

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Will Highway 85 see more improvements, another expansion?


One of the highways serving as a main artery for traffic through North Dakota’s oil patch might soon expand to four lanes, along with a possible bridge replacement, reports The Bismarck Tribune. The North Dakota Department of Transportation said it plans to complete improvements on the southern stretch of Highway 85 from Watford City to Interstate 94, a 62-mile stretch ...

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Poaching cases probed in Williston, Watford City areas

Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americanus) female the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is seeking the public’s help in cracking several wildlife poaching cases over the past couple of months in the western oil patch. Officials say half a dozen incidents have occurred in the Williston and Watford City areas. They involve the illegal killing of eight deer and two pronghorn. Authorities don’t ...

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