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Annexation Process

About

School district annexation is the process of redefining the school district line into a new school district. All annexations become effective July 1st of the following year upon approval by the State Board.

You may be eligible to annex your property into a different school district if your lot is contiguous (roads do not count when you consider if they are touching) to lots in the school district you want to be annexed into. If the school district you are annexing out of has a bond issue, you may be required to pay the new school district’s taxes and the taxes of the bond from the former district.

Process

Please contact the Williams County Schools Administrative Assistant for assistance with this process: email: debk@co.williams.nd.us; phone: 701-577-4580.

Step One: Complete the Annexation Petition

  • Download the Annexation Petition form from ND DPI
  • Tips for completing the petition
    • Use your legal description on the petition and not your 911 address. Your legal description can be obtained from the Recorder's Office.
    • Include a name of a child that is going to be school age in the upcoming school year and that lives in the petitioned area on the petition.
    • Put together a list of all children ages 0-17 with a list of their name, date of birth and if school age what school are attending and their address.
    • Provide the names of all qualified electors living in the area to be annexed.  A qualified elector is a US citizen that is 18 years or older and has been living in a residence on the petitioned property.  It must be your primary residence or where you live at least 51% of the time.
    • The petition must be hand-signed in ink. It is helpful if you print your name after your signature so it is legible. If there is more than one lot involved, you will need two-thirds of the people living in the area to sign the petition, but it is helpful if you have 100% (NDCC 15.1-12-05-03).
  • Once the petition is complete, please contact our office so that it can be reviewed by the Williams County Superintendent of Schools and Williams County Annexation Technician. We may have follow-up questions for you and may also ask if you have talked to the school districts involved and if a tuition agreement or open enrollment is an option.

Step Two: Local Hearing

  • A hearing with the Williams County Committee for School District Annexations, Dissolutions and Reorganizations will then be scheduled. Hearings typically take place in the Williams County Administration Building in downtown Williston.
  • It can take approximately one month to schedule your hearing. The legal notice has to be in the paper 14 days prior to the meeting in the official newspaper of the county.  Most schools in Williams County use the Williston Herald.  The paper needs at least 4 days and sometimes more depending on weekends and holidays to print the legal advertisement (NDCC 15.1-12-05-01).
  • The Committees votes on the day of the hearing whether to pass or deny the petition.
  • The minutes and all documentary evidence from the hearing is written up and sent to the North Dakota State Board of Public School Education in Bismarck, ND, which must give the final approval.
    • Other paperwork may include a map, minutes, agenda, sign in sheet, and the required information all done by the William’s County Annexation Technician.

Step Three: State Board Meeting

  • If there is testimony against the petition, then the state committee will approve or deny the petition.
  • The State Board meeting will be taped and they may have a hearing where you would be required to testify, or they may decide to make a decision without holding an additional hearing and you would not be allowed to testify.

Annexation FAQs

After submitting an Annexation Petition, you will need to attend a hearing with the Williams County Committee for School District Annexations, Dissolutions, and Reorganizations. Hearings are only held as needed and typically occur in the Williams County Administration Building. Hearings may involved testimony from those for and against your Annexation Petition. You are only permitted to speak during the testimony part of the meeting.

Meeting Conduct

  • Cell phones must be off or set to vibrate. If you must take an urgent call, you are asked to leave the room.
  • All testimony is given at the podium. When you come to the podium, please print and sign your name (like you sign a check) and mark whether you are “for” or “against” the petition. Please speak into the microphone because the meeting is being recorded.
  • Speak only to the committee. Do not address anyone in the audience or make comments from the audience during testimony or committee deliberation.
  • Please state only information pertinent to annexation under review. Try to stick to testimony that is new and different. If you do not have something new to add but want to show support sign in, introduce yourself, state your support and ask to entertain any questions the committee may have.
  • Be respectful of other people’s testimony.
  • Do not talk among yourselves when the committee is in deliberation or during testimony.
  • Address any concerns or clarification by approaching the podium and addressing the committee.

(Name of Petition Carrier Family) Annexation

Date

Williams County Administration Building

1:00pm

  1. Introduction of Lawyer from the William’s County State Attorney’s Office
    a.) Determine if all the statutory requirements regarding the petition have been met.
    If no, the meeting is adjourned.
    If yes, the petition is deemed valid and the meeting continues.
  2.  Call to order of hearing by Chairman of the Williams County Reorganization Committee.
  3.  Introduction of Williams County Committee Members present
  4.  Reading of Petition:  Williams County Superintendent of Schools
  5.  Testimony FOR the petition
  6.  Testimony AGAINST the petition
  7.  Testimony relative to the equitable adjustment of all property, assets, debts & liabilities among Districts involved if petition is approved.
  8.  Any additional testimony, either FOR or AGAINST the petition.
  9. Complete Findings of Facts form by the County Committee
    a.) Williams County Superintendent of Schools & Secretary of Reorganization Committee calls upon each member to read decision
    b.) Committee secretary writes motion and the reasons why on Findings
    c.) Committee members sign Findings
  10. Announce State Board Meeting-if necessary
  11. Adjourn hearing

There are some key stipulations to the law that are required for you to annex your land.

  • You must live in the area to be annexed.
  • You must have a school age child or a child that will attend school in the upcoming school year.
  • You must be connected or “contiguous” to the school district you want to annex into.
  • You must have two-thirds of the people living in the area to be annexed sign the petition.
  • You must be a qualified elector or live in your home for 30 days or longer and be over the age of 18 years.

For more information, visit the Annexation Process webpage.

You will receive an answer to your petition from the Williams County Committee for School District Annexations, Dissolutions and Reorganizations the same day you attend the hearing.

All documentary evidence from the hearing is recorded and sent to the North Dakota State Board of Education in Bismarck, ND. The State Board will either confirm or deny the William’s County Reorganization Committee’s decision. The State Board usually meets on the third Monday of each month. All annexations are effective July 1st of each year following the State Board hearing.

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