Operation Prairie Dog Funding Update

As we have seen rapid changes in North Dakota’s economy and oil production resulting from COVID-19, the new “Operation Prairie Dog” infrastructure funding has been similarly impacted.

Previous funding estimates are significantly impacted by recent changes in oil prices. Unfortunately, this means disbursements will likely be delayed.  As AE2S Nexus updates models and gathers additional information from the ND Office of Management and Budget, it has become apparent that many North Dakota communities will not receive funding from Operation Prairie Dog this biennium. 

Nexus expects the following for the two Operation Prairie Dog funding buckets:

  1. The first municipal infrastructure bucket, which provides a base amount to cities with more than 1,000 people, may have funding available at the end of the biennium (6/30/2021). 
  2. The second municipal infrastructure bucket, which provides additional funding to larger communities and the total distribution to communities of less than 1,000 people, is unlikely to receive any funding this biennium.

“At this time, we do not recommend cities include Operation Prairie Dog funding in near-term capital planning,” says Brent Bogar, AE2S Nexus Senior Consultant. 

If you would like to track the status of the funds, the North Dakota Treasurer’s website has a graphic outlining the State’s Gross Production Tax distributions into buckets and the Operation Prairie Dog buckets with respect to the funding sequence. If you have further questions, please reach out to Brent Bogar.