Gov. Jack Dalrymple (GOP), congratulated Valley City on the just announced expansion project that includes the John Deere Seeding Group plant at a press conference Friday. The estimated $20 million project, spearheaded by the Valley City-Barnes County Development Corporation, includes a purchase agreement on a 77-acre site along I-94 where John Deere plans an expansion project and the North Dakota National Guard plans a new facility.
“When they (John Deere) chose your community, it was a very good coup,” Dalrymple said. “This is a great day.”
Valley City has a good business climate and a good tax base, he added.
With that, Dalrymple, who is running for his first elected term after he became governor when Governor John Hoven was elected to the Senate, went on to address the needs of rural schools in east central North Dakota; Rural schools with small student populations. As Lt. Governor, Dalrymple was chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Education and worked to make an equitable funding program for the state’s schools. In an effort to help small rural schools, per-pupil funding goes higher for small schools, he said.
Dalrymple went on to say he supported a requirement that North Dakota schools provide a required core curriculum for high school students of three years of science, three years of math, and that high schools offer at least two years of a foreign language. He also supports the use of Rural Education Associations that include school districts working together to provided courses they might not otherwise be able to.
For North Dakota college students, Dalrymple, as Governor, backed merit-based scholarships for students with certain grade point averages and ACT scores, he said. Such scholarships, which are good at public, private, or vocational colleges and universities in North Dakota, have had a significant effect on education, he said. Even at the high school level where students work harder to stay eligible for scholarships.
“Kids are aware of what they have to do to qualify for the scholarship,” he pointed out.
To combat the rising cost of education, Dalrymple proposed increasing merit-based scholarships to $10,000 (payable at $2,500) per year, and also increasing the amount of needs-based scholarships. Funding for scholarships would come from the state’s general fund.
“We’ve gone for quality of education,” he said of North Dakota schools.
“Our state is doing well,” he added.
Not only do we have quality education, we have job creation, technology, unemployment is up and good jobs are up, and as Lieutenant. Governor the legislature passed the largest tax cuts in history.”
“The state’s income is growing in spite of tax cuts,” he said.
Devils Lake is a concern of many area residents. Not only is there concern for flooding later, but also for the quality of the water currently going into the Sheyenne River. Dalrymple, Chairman of the State Water Commission, explained that pumps installed after high water in spring 2011 have taken the water level in Devils Lake down one foot, and drought caused the lake to drop another two feet. At its highest, the lake was within three feet of overflowing, but is not now. Sulfate levels in the Sheyenne River are safe, he pointed out and praised the city’s new state-of-the art water treatment facility which was built largely with state money. The sulfate level is safe, he assured.
In addition, dropping lake levels have revealed about 32,000 acres of tillable land that was previously underwater.