WILLISTON — A variety of public meetings will be held in and around Williston this week, some to gather public input, and others simply to conduct business in public, as required by law.
First up this week will be a three-hour special meeting to get ducks in a row for the Williston Basin International Airport Program. The big meeting will be from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at City Hall and follows on an executive session that was held this week to discuss negotiations related to redevelopment of the old airport.
City officials have said they intend for the purchase price of the old airport to count towards their share of the $248 million relocation project, which will allow Williston to handle larger jets carrying up to 220 passengers.
Airport director Steven Kjergaard called for the public meeting to get the city processes rolling now that the FAA has announced a finding of no significant impact for the airport relocation, and awarded $27 million in funding for it.
That award was about twice as much as the city had been expecting to receive.
“That was obviously a pleasant surprise,” Mayor Howard Klug said. “I kept thinking it would be between 9 and 11, but when it came out as 27 … Obviously they believe in our project and know the significant impact it will have on transportation throughout the United States, and also understand what we need in western North Dakota.”
Meanwhile, Senator John Hoeven and Senator Heidi Heitkamp have both been pushing to secure $120 million more in funding from the FAA to help fund the $248 million project.
City officials have pointed to the jump in passengers — 7,800 in 2007 and 120,900 in 2014 — as well as to the fact that the smaller jets currently allowed to land at the airport are being discontinued. The existing airport is landlocked and unable to expand appropriately to handle the newer and larger jets, partly due to all the development surrounding it.
City officials also want to position Williston as a regional hub in northwestern North Dakota, and see this move as key to that effort.
The meeting on Monday is to go over the overall scope of the project, as well as a timetable for construction, Klug said. Questions from the public may also be brought up at that time.
The city will be purchasing up to 1,400 acres of land to relocate the airport, which will accommodate jets carrying up to 220 passengers.
“We’re not sure yet how much we’re going to pay for land or what the offer is going to be,” Klug said. “But the overall scope of the project and dates will be given out.”
County Commission meeting
The county will discuss a maintenance agreement for the Williston truck reliever route, introduce a new attorney and a new extension agent and discuss a weather modification agreement when it holds its regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting at 8 a.m. in the commission chambers, located in the County Courthouse on Broadway Street. The budget hearing, meanwhile has been set for 8 a.m. Oct. 12 in the same location.
Hiland hearing in Watford
Hiland Crude, LLC, has submitted an application with the Public Service Commission to convert their existing Alexander Tank Farm Crude Oil Pipeline and associated facilities into a transmission line.
There will be a public hearing regarding the proposal at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Teddy’s Residential Suites, 113 Ninth Ave. SE in Watford City.
The pipeline is an extension of the Market Center pipeline system, which has been approved for conversion to a transmission pipeline. If approval is obtained to convert the 4.5 mile-long segment of the Alexander line, it will allow for delivery of crude oil passing through the Market Center System or alternatively allow for transport of crude oil from the Alexander Station to the Market Center System. The pipeline will have a maximum capacity of 50,000 barrels per day and its total cost is estimated at $3.6 million.
The existing 8-inch diameter pipeline originates 5 miles north-northeast of Alexander at a connection with the Market Center System and runs 4.5 miles north to the Alexander Station.
Highway 2 intersection upgrades coming
Not far from the airport along Highway 2, there are a few problematic intersections. If you have concerns about the access from Highway 2 in the areas of Walmart, New Hope, Springlake Park or the Kum & Go, there’s a meeting Oct. 8 to present some plans to improve those access points, among others.
There will be an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. to discuss them. A short presentation beginning at 5:30 p.m. will present some options to discuss.
The meeting is at the Williston Area Recreational Center.
County Road 8 closed
The county has closed this route 1 mile to the east of County Road 21 (105th to 104th Avenue NW) until further notice.
Traffic entering on County Road 8 to105th Avenue Northwest will be rerouted to 61st Street Northwest, 1 mile to the north.
County Road 8 from 104th Avenue Northwest heading east to County Road 23 will remain open as a one-way eastbound road.