A new taproom and air ambulance service are coming to Williston, with some help from the STAR Fund.

At the Tuesday, Sept. 10 meeting of the Williston City Commission, Economic Development Director Shawn Wenko presented the commission with two applications for the STAR Fund’s Flex PACE Interest Buydown Program, requesting grants up to $118,000 for Hops & Berry, LLC and Executive Air Taxi Corporation. The Flex PACE program utilizes funds from the STAR Fund and Bank of North Dakota to help businesses grow, prosper and succeed. Bank of North Dakota provides a two to one match to the STAR Fund allocation.

Executive Air Taxi Corporation is a full-service aviation company based in Bismarck, providing air ambulance service, maintenance, flight training, airplane rental and more. Wenko said the main intent of the company’s expansion into Williston is to provide air ambulance transport to patients in the region. The company is looking to build a aircraft hangar and flight crew center at the new Williston Basin International Airport. Wenko explained that the expansion would improve healthcare options for the city’s residents.

“We are less than a month out from the opening of our new airport XWA,” Wenko said. “Executive Air service is critical towards enhancement of medical care and options in the community.”

Hops & Berry, LLC is a self-service beer and wine taproom that will be located at the Renaissance on Main building in downtown Williston. The taproom will offer up to 46 craft beer selections, eight wine options and limited food options. Patrons will check in with an attendant to confirm their age and set up payment, at which point they will receive an electronic bracelet that will allow them to dispense their own beer and wine. Wenko said there is a “critical niche” in Williston in regards to new food and beverage options, one that Hops & Berry will help to fill.

“Hops & Berry is going to be a great addition to our thriving downtown,” said Wenko. “The self-serve option is a unique concept that I believe residents and visitors alike will enjoy.”

The commission voted to unanimously to approve both grant applications, with Hops & Berry receiving $10,000 from the STAR Fund for its $250,000 build-out, and Executive Air receiving $108,000 from the STAR Fund for its $650,000 building.

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