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Western ND oil patch leaders want more state help

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Leaders of communities in the western North Dakota oil patch say they need more state help to deal with the effects of the oil boom. Williston City Commissioner Brad Bekkedahl says the needs aren't going away, and in fact, they're getting bigger. Bekkedahl says Williston is to get $60 million from the state during the current two-year budget cycle that ends in June 2015, but the city has more than $200 million in infrastructure projects underway. He says the oil patch hub has reached its bonding limit for projects. Oil patch leaders agree they'll need to approach the Legislature next year with one voice. Sen. Bill Bowman says oil communities will need to give lawmakers exact numbers on financial needs, not guesses.