Land Board Awards $625,000 to Support Oil Patch Communities in Need of Day Care Facilities
BISMARCK, N.D. – The Board of University and School Lands (Land Board) today awarded $625,000 in Energy Impact grants to help communities in the state’s oil-producing counties address shortages in available day care centers.
The Land Board awarded matching grants, each totaling $125,000, to the cities of Crosby, Killdeer, Watford City and Williston as well as the Nesson School District in Ray to help establish five new child care facilities. The matching grants cover as much as 50 percent of the costs for a childcare facility and essential equipment.
“We created this pilot program to help address the unique challenges in expanding childcare services in our oil-producing counties,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said “Rapid growth in our oil counties has created a growing need for child care services at a time when rising property values are making it more difficult to establish these facilities. We will continue to work with local officials in our oil-producing counties to help meet the many impacts created by rapid development.”
Dalrymple is chairman of the five-member state Land Board. Other board members are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Wayne Sanstead and Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.
The Land Board on June 13 created the pilot project for expanded day care services and set aside state Oil and Gas Impact Grant funding. The program supports the establishment of community owned child care facilities to be publicly operated or leased to non-profit or for-profit operators. The grant funds can be used to purchase modular childcare facilities; to expand an existing publicly owned childcare facility or to build a new publicly owned facility.
Following Dalrymple’s recommendation, the Legislature enhanced the Oil and Gas Impact Fund and appropriated $135 million for the 2011-13 biennium to offset direct energy impacts in the state’s oil and gas counties. So far, the state has authorized about $120 million for critical infrastructure upgrades, emergency service enhancements, rapid school enrollments and other needs.