Some City of Williston departments are trading places. Williston Public Works and Engineering is leaving the Gene Emery Public Works Facility (809 5th Street East) and moving to the new Williston Public Works (1121 5th Street East). Meanwhile, the auditor’s office is transferring to Gene Emery Public Works while City Hall is renovated. The moves are part of the City’s long-term efforts to build capacity for current and future staff needs.
“These projects will provide adequate building capacity for our employees and equipment for the next 30 to 40 years,” said Williston Mayor Howard Klug.
The new 96,000 square foot Williston Public Works complex will provide more than 20,000 square-feet for administration, more than 20,000 square-feet for the shop and about 45,000 square-feet for parking. The extra space will allow all equipment to be stored indoors.
“Our new public works facility will be able to house all of our equipment in one location and make sure it is ready to go out as needed,” said Klug. “It will also work as a recruiting tool as it is a state-of-the-art facility for public works administration and equipment.”
“We’ve been renting space all over Williston just to get them indoors in the winter time,” said Dave Bell, Williston Public Works director.
Currently public works has 119 positions with 95 filled; all are moving to the new building. Once Gene Emery Public Works is vacated, the auditor’s staff will move in temporarily while City Hall is remodeled.
“The entire city hall staff will be relocated to the old building (Gene Emery Public Works) starting with a move on September 18 (is the plan right now),” said City of Williston City Auditor John Kautzman. “The only hang up on this will be that public works current operations will have to be moved first.”
All city hall services will temporarily be housed at 809 5th Street East.
“Water payments and all permitting services by the auditor’s office including alcohol applications like special events and gaming related items to mention a few,” said Kautzman.
“You can still pay your water bill downtown in the drop box at city hall. It will be checked daily basis,” added Klug.
The new $30 million public works complex will feature numerous new amenities such as meeting space, conference rooms and private quarters for those needing cemetery lots. The City of Williston’s one cent sales tax is funding the project. Three quarters of the tax funds infrastructure projects while 25 percent funds economic development endeavors.
“We will use the building for many functions such as meetings and training,” said Klug. “If you are in the unfortunate situation and need a cemetery lot, we will have a room to look at those online rather than having to drive to the cemetery.”
In addition, the new building will pay tribute to current and past elected leaders by naming six rooms after each of them. Williston Commissioner Deanette Piesik created the idea.
“It was hard to pick only six names, the City of Williston has had great leadership in our Mayors,” said Piesik. “We had six areas that needed a number, instead, I thought let’s give the rooms a name. It would be a way to express our “thanks” to a group of individuals that led this City!”
The community is invited to check out which mayors have rooms named after them during the grand opening and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, November 6 from 2-4 p.m. More details will be released soon.