Thanks To All The Williston Folks For Their Visit To Fargo

Thanks to all the Williston contingent for accepting Commissioner Wimmer’s and my invitation to Fargo to share their oil and agriculture story with our commission, chamber of commerce, Kiwanis, as well as many local legislators.

Brad and I invited them when we recently drove out west and met up with the GF mayor and two council members as well as a GF county commissioner for a visit to Stanley, Tioga, and Williston elected officials and area leaders.   They were all such great hosts for our recent tour and visit and we found many things we can work on together to advance our communities and North Dakota.  Thanks to Grand Forks and especially Pete Haga for coordinating our visit and letting us tag along.

Among our common challenges is the need to improve our land use strategies and have quality infrastructure, quality developments to grow in a more efficient, safe, and sustainable manner.

Reducing our dependence on foreign oil, improving energy efficiency, and redirecting the $1 billion a day we spend on 60% foreign oil now being imported to improvements in our country is also a common goal.  Merging more renewable energy with our country’s fossil fuels is good for all Americans, it extends our non-renewable resources, reduces our oil imports, improves national security as well as our economy.

Managing and enhancing access to quality water is another common challenge as all of us are working to access more water rights for North Dakota from the Missouri River water.  95% of North Dakota’s fresh water is held above the Garrison Dam in the Missouri  River.  It’s estimated the needs for the energy industry in the state as well as for the eastern part of the state would be equivalent to two inches off the top.

We discussed the need for more state support for roads and other infrastructure in the oil industry areas as well as our need for comprehensive water management in the Red River Basin.

Water is a precious resource – we can’t live without it, and we need to manage it as best we can. Work is progressing, but it’s going to take many years to concurrently improve and develop more comprehensive basinwide water management that includes Devils Lake stabilization, basinwide retention to conserve water and recharge aquifers in droughts while helping protect in flood years, as well as mitigation and a Fargo-Moorhead diversion.

Reviewing and improving our current land-use policies now is important to best protect our city and grow in a more safe, sustainable manner.

I found out yesterday that the Williston Herald chose my comments as quote of the week.

Each Thursday, the Williston Herald displays a few of the more interesting quotes that have appeared in the newspaper during the past week.

Here are this week’s top quotes:

“We want to work together. It’s good for the whole state. We all do better when we all do better.”

Mike Williams, Fargo city commissioner.

Here’s the article from our visit out west:

GF, Fargo reps visit Williston

By Alta Mayhugh
Williston Herald
Published/Last Modified on Friday, September 24, 2010 10:20 AM CDT

Brad Wimmer, a city of Fargo commissioner, had never been to Williston.

He enjoyed his visit here Thursday as well as seeing Tioga and Stanley for the first time on Wednesday.

“We were thrilled to get out there,” he said during a phone interview.

Fargo and Grand Forks representatives visited Williston and other nearby communities to meet with city officials and discuss a variety of issues impacting each community and discovering common grounds between the communities.

“We want to work together. It’s good for the whole state. We all do better when we all do better,” said Mike Williams, Fargo city commissioner. Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown dined at the El Rancho with other Grand Forks representatives and Williston representatives.

“Williston is very welcoming, very warm,” he said, adding earlier Thursday he and other Grand Forks officials met with the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce and talked about what’s happening in Grand Forks, including record enrollment at University of North Dakota and a new library and wellness center.

“It’s nice to come share,” he said.

Tom Rolfstad, executive director of Williston Economic Development, said there are plans for Williston representatives to visit Grand Forks soon. Meetings with officials from other cities are important, he said, to “get to know each other, each other’s issues, find some common ground.”

“We’re trying to build bridges,” Rolfstad said.  ~ End article ~