Williston gets new council member

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By Pat Hibbs

At its Nov. 4 meeting, the Williston City Council named Marc Nussel to fill council seat B, which was vacated by the resignation of Cal Byrd.

Nussel was a member of the council for eight years in the 1990s and most recently was the caretaker of the seat vacated by Justin Landon.

Nussel, who is the owner of Williston Crane and Equipment, has indicated that he will run for a seat in the March elections. He will be sworn in at the next City Council meeting.

The other applicants for the seat were Betty Fender, Lindsey Hager and Anthony Della Rocco.

Byrd said that he will remain on the Airport Committee as a replacement for Tony Days, who has had to excuse himself due to family illness. Byrd currently serves as one of the two City Council members of the committee. The council will have to appoint a replacement for him on the Airport Committee.

There have been general conversations at the last couple of council meetings about the naming of the park soon to be built in East Williston. On Tuesday evening, council decided that the whole park area will be called Cornelius Williams Memorial Park.

Specific segments of the park will also be named for members of the community. That list so far includes the playground area, named for Angie Harris; the horseshoe pits, for Philip Oates; the basketball courts for Cpl. David Moss, a WPD officer killed in the line of duty; the softball fields for Coach Robert Patterson; and the baseball fields for Frankie Jackson.

The park is currently in the early stages of construction; appropriate ceremonies will be held when it is completed, or as sections are finished and made available to the community.

Airport Committee Chair Debra Jones gave brief updates on matters discussed at a recent committee meeting. The item that drew the most attention was the policy dealing with non-tenant business permits. These permits would allow firms to apply for a temporary license to do business at the airport without a lease for property there. This would permit, for example, a licensed and insured aircraft engine contractor to work on a specific plane at the facility.

Jones said that the committee is still working on specific language, and will have it ready to present to the council next month.

Fire Chief Lamar Stegall was given council's blessing to pursue a Division of Forestry grant for voice pagers. The grant would pay 50 percent of the cost of the equipment.

At the end of the meeting there was brief discussion of negotiations with Marcus Collins, who has been selected as first choice for city manager. There is some disagreement as to the need for a contract for the first year of Collins' tenure. He specifically said he would work without a contract to prove his worth to the city, and then negotiate a contract should the city decide to retain him.

Jones is apprehensive about employing Collins without a formal agreement.

Talks are ongoing.

The City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the council chambers. The agenda is available at City Hall and online on the Friday preceding the meeting. Public participation is encouraged.