Could Building Permits be Capped in Williston? | VideoEvan Kruegel | 3/21/2013
"It`s probably the single largest demand on our budget. Now we have a lot of other demands, we need roads and water lines and everything else, but itís probably the largest single item that we have going into our budget for the next few years,Ē said Mayor Ward Koeser.
If they don`t get the money, the rapid development occurring across town could potentially slow down.
"Basically if the state came back to us and said you can`t discharge anymore sewage, then we would have to take action to at least limit building permits," said Koeser.
City planners and building officials declined to comment on this story, but they did tell me this: Every building permit issued is done so on an infrastructure basis, meaning water and road systems must be attainable before a permit is issued. That means a cap could be placed on additional permits if the waste water plant doesn`t increase its capacity.
"Obviously this extra sewage is coming because of the growth from the oil industry. We had excess capacity before the oil boom hit us, we were in a good position and we were prepared for several years of growth, and suddenly overnight we exceeded our capacity, and so the issue has certainly been thrust upon us by the oil industry."
City leaders are hoping this doesn`t become a major concern. They hope to receive roughly $70 million from the state legislature this biennium, a portion of which would quickly be used to cover the necessary waste water upgrades.