Editorial: March 2015
Building the good life in North Dakota
This month’s issue of North Dakota Living tells the story (page 8) about a campaign called “Find the Good Life in North Dakota.” The campaign is sponsored by the N.D. Economic Development Foundation, and is designed to enhance the state’s image across the country in the hope that people will be more willing to relocate here to fill the thousands of jobs that are available. To bolster that image, the campaign brags about our state’s quality of life.
North Dakota’s rural electric cooperatives commend the sponsors of this campaign. From our start in North Dakota some 75 years ago, rural electric cooperatives have been driven by this purpose and compass: “To power communities and empower members to improve the quality of their lives.”
Dependable electric power is just one factor in today’s improved quality of life. In addition to a robust economy, those states with the best quality of life have quality infrastructure like roads, water and broadband services. They have community services like K-12 schools, medical care, emergency services, fire protection and elder care. They also have access to amenities like recreation, hunting and fishing, a clean environment and attractions.
In this session of the Legislature, North Dakota’s rural electric cooperatives have been supportive of funding for programs and projects in each of these areas:
*We support the surge funding of $1.1 billion for infrastructure needs in the oil-producing counties and cities of western North Dakota.
* We support Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s plan for a one-time funding of $30.4 million for capital improvements at state parks.
* We support the governor’s proposal to increase funding for the Outdoor Heritage Fund from $30 million to $50 million in the next biennium.
* We support the governor’s recommended increases for tourism promotion and infrastructure grants; and
* We support increased funding for the State Historical Society of North Dakota, which would allow the agency (among other projects) to hire more staffing for the newly expanded Heritage Center.
We know this from delivering electric power: It doesn’t just happen. Delivering power, like sustaining and building an excellent quality of life, takes planning, investment and care.
North Dakota is in a period where the state has unprecedented resources to help build and sustain the infrastructure, community services and amenities that form the foundation of our excellent quality of life.
We’re proud to be one of the providers of infrastructure that support quality of life, and urge this session of the Legislature to keep up its commitment to the good life in North Dakota.