BISMARCK — Relief is coming soon to many North Dakotans as tourism officials announced their annual publication will soon be printed with flushable paper.
The 2020 Travel Guides are being overhauled with “flushable and skin-friendly paper” to assist North Dakotans who are experiencing one of the worst toilet paper shortages in history sparked by the COVID-19 crisis.
The move was announced shortly after Governor Burgum declared a state of emergency.
North Dakota Century Code, Section 54-07-01.1, grants emergency powers to the Governor and in rare instances, gives the Governor authority to print state publications with flushable paper.
Moments after the announcement was made, state tourism officials say they saw a surge of tourism guide online orders.
“Prior to Governor Burgum’s disaster declaration, we had a total of 13 tourism guide orders,” says North Dakota Tourism Natural Resource Director Seymour Butz. “After the announcement, we had 3-million orders placed. We’re just so happy that so many North Dakotans and Americans for that matter are suddenly excited about North Dakota. We’re expecting some really big results from this year’s tourism campaign as a result.”
Other agencies may soon be following the tourism department’s lead. The North Dakota Ethic’s Commission says they may be lending a hand to bathroom goers.
“We’ve got a whole warehouse full of ethics complaints that we’re unsure what to do with. So we’re working with the state to see if that paper can be recycled into toilet paper and other bathroom products. COVID-19 is a serious issue and so we’re rolling up our sleeves to help our state in their time of need,” said the Ethics Commission in a written statement.
North Dakota is currently facing its worst toilet paper shortage in history. Retailers cannot keep the bathroom tissue in stock. As a result, many have turned to online marketplaces to buy toilet paper from private sellers at significantly marked up costs, leading some state officials worried a toilet paper black market could undermine retailers.
Still, Governor Burgum says he’s pleased with how state agencies are reinventing government to assist North Dakotans.
“Utilizing existing infrastructure has been a hallmark of mine. Once again, our state agencies have answered the call of duty,” said Governor Burgum. “Their work to overcome our state’s toilet paper shortage has been inspiring and I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone. Thanks to our overabundance of travel guides and ethics complaints, North Dakotans will soon be on the receiving end of impactful relief. Help is on the way.”
Late Saturday night, officials were spotted delivering a stack of tourism guides to the Governor’s residence.
North Dakotans will be able to find the new tourism guides at rest stops and government buildings.
More on this story as it develops.
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