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The City of Williston
Situated at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers, Williston, North Dakota, covers 23 square miles and is the county seat of Williams County. Located just 60 miles from the Canadian border and 18 miles from the Montana border, Williston is commonly referred to as the “Western Star” and takes pride in its western heritage. The City is recognized as a regional center for business, leisure, and economic development. Residents and visitors alike enjoy convenient access to extraordinary historic sites, world-class hunting and fishing, and beautiful national and state parks.

Due to its proximity to the Yellowstone and Missouri, the Williston area has been a booming commerce center for centuries, earning the nickname “Boomtown” early on in its history. It was a gathering place for the earliest inhabitants of the plains and a rendezvous point for fur traders and explorers. It has drawn together generations of agricultural producers. Today, with the Bakken oil formation, Williston is home to hardworking residents making North Dakota the nation’s second largest oil-producing state.

While population growth in the area has started to normalize, the City of Williston experienced explosive growth over the past several years due to increased activity in the oil and gas industry. The City has grown 210% in size since 2010, jumping from a population of 12,120 to 27,500 currently. This prosperous community has managed its incredible growth issues with great success, being named the fastest growing micropolitan (cities under 50,000) in the nation for the last five years.

Williston’s economy is built on oil, agriculture, and tourism. It is home to over 200 oil service companies. Several of the top ten oil service companies in the world have operations in Williston. 

View a digital version of the 2021 Williston Visitor's Guide!

Governance and Organization
The City of Williston operates under the governance of a Commission, made up of five members, one of which is the President or Mayor.  Members are elected at-large and serve four-year terms with no limits.  The Commission is the legislative body of the City and is responsible for taxation, appropriations, ordinances, and other general functions. 

Individual Commissioners are assigned executive responsibility for specific portfolios of municipal functions. 

City Departments include:

Convention & Visitors Bureau
Development Services
E-9-1-1 (Upper Missouri River Regional Dispatch Center)

Economic Development
Finance Department

Fire Department
Police Department
Public Works
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