A signing ceremony with Deputy Secretary of the Interior Kate MacGregor and Dickey-Sargent Irrigation District officials Thursday marked the completion of the title transfer of the Oakes Test Area. The facility is now owned and operated by DSID, following the transfer from the Bureau of Reclamation and will allow the irrigation district to purchase the test area and its infrastructure for the benefit of local farmers.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., helped pass legislation last year to remove the need for congressional authorization prior to transferring the title of a Bureau of Reclamation project facility, such as the Oakes Test Area. The senator met repeatedly with BOR officials and local stakeholders to move the negotiations forward and ensure the facility was priced fairly. Hoeven also introduced legislation, with Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., as an original cosponsor, to authorize the title transfer of the facility.
“With the title transfer now complete, the Dickey-Sargent Irrigation District will be able to make needed upgrades to the Oakes Test Area, ensuring this infrastructure will benefit the region’s agriculture producers for years to come,” Hoeven said.
“We wish to thank Senator Hoeven and all others who participated in making this transfer a reality. Without their efforts the many challenges faced during this process would not have been overcome,” said David Locken, Dickey-Sargent Irrigation District chairman. “The local decision making the transfer affords Dickey-Sargent puts us in a much better position in dealing with the many future challenges we will face.”