The Williston City Commission approved another round of STAR Fund applications at their latest meeting. 

Economic Development Director Shawn Wenko brought the three items before the board at their Tuesday, Nov 10 meeting, held again via teleconference due to COVID-19 precautions. The projects consisted of two Flex PACE applications for existing businesses, and a Community Growth grant to help improve economic opportunities in the region. 

Jaeb's Thai Food, an existing food truck business in Williston, requested a Flex PACE buydown in the amount not to exceed $25,000 for the purchase of the former Pizza Hut delivery location. The owner intends to invest about $250,000 into the facility to create a storefront for the business for takeout and delivery. 

Little Muddy Gifts in downtown Williston is being purchased by new owners, who have requested a Flex PACE interest buydown not to exceed $7,500 towards purchase of the business. 

The Community Growth grant request came from the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, a nonprofit corporation that was established to represent the expanse of road from Rapid City, South Dakota to the Port of Raymond in Montana.

Communities along this expanse of road discussed the initial formation of the Expressway in 2004 and a year later the Expressway achieved Federal High Priority Status. That status has provided for the reconstruction of U.S. 85 North of Grassy Butte to the newly opened Long X Bridge near Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit into a super two-lane highway.

The Expressway Association established a board of five members from North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota. This board hired a permanent full time coordinator, who has lobbied for the funds needed for the project. The Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association is funded through memberships, communities, counties, chamber of commerce offices, economic development corporations, private businesses and grants.

The funding is used to pay for the coordinator, needed to promote the trade region, progress the development of the project and bring economic opportunities to the region. The funds will also be used to cover the cost of studies and shows State and Federal officials the City's level of commitment.

The Theodore Roosevelt Expressway requested $125,000.00 to be dispersed at $25,000 a year over a five year period beginning in 2021.

The Commission voted to approve all Flex PACE and Community Growth grant requests.

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