City of Williston finalizing 2017 budget

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WILLISTON, N.D. - The year is almost three-quarters of the way through, and Williston is finalizing next year's budget.

Many people have described the slowdown as a 'breathing period' for the region. The same phrase can be used when it comes to this year’s budget.

“The city is starting to down size as the industry has as well,” says Brad Bekkedahl, Williston City Commissioner.

Next year's budget is more than $146 million. That's down about $65 million from this year.

“I think the department heads did a real good job of focusing in on savings where they could, bringing us back to an operational budget that is lean as it could,” says Bekkedahl.

The last time the city's budget dipped below $200 million was back in 2013. That's because many of the construction projects in the area are wrapping up. The city also isn't filling open positions unless they are of critical need.

“You won’t see as many contractors running around and closing off areas because some of the connecting roads have been completed,” says John Kautzman, Williston Auditor.

Residents shouldn't see tax increases from the city.

“New values we are taking into account. With those new properties and new values, the net effect for most tax payers will be near zero for the city’s portion of the tax bill,” says Kautzman.

Commissioner Bekkedahl says the days of $200 million budgets for Williston might be in the rearview mirror.