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Published February 04, 2013, 08:53 AM

Williston annexing 7.5 square miles to the north

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The booming North Dakota oil patch city of Williston is growing larger, despite some residents' objections.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The booming North Dakota oil patch city of Williston is growing larger, despite some residents' objections.

The City Commission on Thursday approved an annexation of about 7.5 square miles of land north of the city, affecting about 500 property owners.

Public Works Director Monte Meiers said the annexation will make it easier for officials to plan infrastructure such as roads and sewer lines. Commissioners agreed, and said expansion also will allow officials to better prepare for the future.

The move upsets some area residents, who said they're worried the annexation will be accompanied by limitations on hunting and setting off fireworks.

"I feel that this is being forced upon us," Debra Hegney told commissioners. She and several others said they intentionally live outside of city limits and don't want to be annexed.

The public protests fell short of the 25 percent threshold needed to stop the project, the Williston Daily Herald reported (http://bit.ly/11AYXsZ ). Commissioners insisted they want to work with, not against, the annexed residents.

"We're in this together," Commissioner Tate Cymbaluk said. "We've got a tough battle on our hands. This is a long-term deal."

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