Hoeven: Legislation Enabling Homeowners Around the Jamestown Reservoir to Purchase Lots Could Pass Senate by Labor Day

Senator Working to Include his Legislation in Senate WRDA Bill

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, today met with Stutsman County officials and area residents to outline progress on his legislation to enable Jamestown Reservoir cabin owners to purchase their lots. Hoeven successfully included the Jamestown provision in a package of bills to be added to the Senate’s Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The senator said he’s hopeful that the package will be added to the Senate’s WRDA bill in the coming weeks and be passed by the Senate by Labor Day. 

“Many homeowners on the Jamestown Reservoir have made improvements and investments in their homes and lots,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation is about providing security to these homeowners by enabling them to purchase their lots. The Jamestown legislation, which was approved by the Energy Committee in May, has now been included in a package of bills that we’re working to add to the Senate’s Water Resources Development Act. The Senate is considering WRDA in the coming weeks and I believe we can get the Jamestown provision passed in the Senate by Labor Day.”  

Specifically, Hoeven’s legislation transfers federal lands around the Jamestown Reservoir – including the 71 permitted exclusive use cabin lots, two campgrounds, a park and unpurchased lots – to the Stutsman County Park Board and the North Dakota Game and Fish at no cost. Homeowners would then be able purchase their lots from the Stutsman County Park Board. 

Proceeds exceeding the costs of preparing residential lots for sale would be used for administrative costs and deferred maintenance of the dam. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) would continue to maintain responsibility over the reservoir and dam. 

Hoeven introduced the Jamestown Reservoir legislation last November, which grew out of meetings he and his staff held with homeowners and local officials. The legislation follows the senator’s successful efforts to limit fee increases for permittees on the Jamestown Reservoir and other North Dakota reservoirs after BOR had proposed increasing permit fees to more than twice the current cost.