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Dickinson expects $105M in debt to finish projects

Press Photo by Katherine Grandstrand The $16.6 million public works facility, shown Friday, is one of about 40 projects totaling $435 million that Dickinson will either be beginning or completing in 2014.

The city of Dickinson expects to take on more than $105 million in debt to be able to complete the infrastructure projects it needs to keep up with the demand caused by its growth.

In an effort to get a better grasp on all of the projects taking place in Dickinson, the City Commission met with city staff at the Dickinson Public Library to hear presentations and discuss the $435 million worth of infrastructure projects the city will be beginning or completing in the near future.

“You’ve seen pieces of this already,” City Administrator Shawn Kessel said at the beginning of the meeting. “You’ve seen portions of projects that have been bid. You’ve approved those ones that have been bid. I’m not sure you’ve seen it in totality the way we’re going to represent it today.”

Very few Dickinson residents will be unaffected by infrastructure projects in 2014.

Between roads, public building and water projects, much of Dickinson — especially the newer parts — will be under construction.

The city expects to be more than $105 million in debt after completing the nearly 40 projects discussed at Friday’s meeting, Kessel said.

The city plans to use funds from existing revenues streams — the general fund, the enterprise fund and sales tax — along with financing from public and private sources to cover its share of projects.

Other funds will come from state, federal and private/public funding sources, depending on the co-sponsors of the project.

The projects include building, road and water projects.

The city will begin the Public Safety Center, complete the public works building and work will continue on the West River Community Center. All of the projects are expected to be completed or started in 2014.

Tenth Avenue West will be extended north to 40th Street West and work will continue on the interim bypass at Interstate 94 Exit 59 and the creation on Exit 56.

Several water projects will be going on throughout the city, from lift stations and pumps to water mains, culminating with the completion of the $34 million water reclamation facility in southeast Dickinson.

“There’s a lot of things that aren’t on this list that could arise,” Kessel said, using a downtown plaza as an example of a project that is being discussed but is not officially in the works.

The numbers presented at Friday’s meeting are constantly changing as projects come in over and under budget and revenue streams, like grants, become available.

“This is a forecast,” Commission President Dennis Johnson said. “That’s the way I think we should take it.”

Each month the forecasted project cost will change, Johnson said. It’s important for the city to keep track of these numbers, even if they shrink and grow.

In addition to discussing the capital improvement projects and their funding sources, the group began talking about what highway and roads projects to tackle after the current biennium and fine-tuning the development process.

No decisions were made at the meeting, however.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206