Better Know Your Leaders: Craig Kubas
Position with the city: KLJ is currently the city engineer for the city of Dickinson and I represent KLJ in that role.
How long have you been with the city? KLJ has been in the Dickinson community for 75 years. I have been employed with KLJ for nearly 14 years and just recently started as the representative for KLJ as city engineer.
When did you move to Dickinson? I have lived in Dickinson all my life outside of attending North Dakota State University in Fargo. I currently live southeast of town with my wife, Nikki, and our three children. It has been exciting to experience the growth of both the city and KLJ.
What has been the biggest challenge being a private sector employee working at City Hall? This is more of an opportunity than a challenge. With our roots in Dickinson, KLJ has been active with the city for decades and served the city in this role years back. This long-term relationship between the city and KLJ once again allowed for our transition to city engineer.
How does being the city engineer differ from your work at KLJ previously? As KLJ’s representative for city engineer, the work is similar, yet different. KLJ consistently maintains the city’s, and all clients’, best interest as priority as project decisions are made and opportunities rise. We live here, too. Now, in the role of city engineer, we have a more formalized relationship. In this role, the city is our primary focus, and we represent the city in all engineering decisions. When KLJ took over the city engineer position, it inherited a lot of backlogged work.
What are the biggest challenges coming into a position and having to play catch-up? The greatest challenge has been the amount of recently proposed projects. Understanding the nuances of each project is important to help manage the community’s growth. It is exciting to formally be part of the growth and help the city meet its development goals and objectives.
What are some of the immediate hurdles Dickinson will face in 2014 as far as growth is concerned? Immediate hurdles will be continuing to manage the growth effectively. The city is fortunate to have a great staff, consultants and developers who work hard at making our community one of the best. Next year will be a very busy year for construction. The city will undertake critical capital improvement projects that will provide water, sewer and streets to growing areas. These projects will coincide with several new developments.
What fun Dickinson-area activity would you recommend to a newcomer? The West River Community Center is an absolutely top-notch facility that most newcomers are surprised to find in a city our size. With a little snow on the ground, a trip to Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a must if you like the outdoors.