City approves first readingThe Dickinson City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance which would create a street light utility as part of the 2010 budget during their regular meeting Tuesday.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance which would create a street light utility as part of the 2010 budget during their regular meeting Tuesday.
Shawn Kessel, city administrator, said the utility, if implemented, would decrease the property tax burden by $186,000.
“About 70 percent of the property in Dickinson is taxable,” Kessel said. “By adding this utility, it would broaden the amount of tax payers. Street lights are something that all Dickinson residents and, you could also say, visitors use.”
If implemented, the average expected charge to a home would be about $2 and commercially would be about $10 a month. Rates would be based on the size of their water meters. The larger the meter, the more the home or establishment would be charged.
The utility would not go toward new street lights, but would instead go toward the upkeep and cost of running the lights.
City commission president Dennis Johnson asked for anyone interested in providing public comment during the first reading to step forward. No one was noted to wish to speak on the matter. Johnson said the matter will be discussed further at the next commission meeting later this month.
Accounting manager Tina Johnson gave an overview of the 2009 financial report. Johnson stated building permit revenue is 4 percent behind last year at this time, oil and gas production revenue is down 37 percent, municipal court revenue is down 38 percent and sales tax collections are up over 12 percent.
Kessel also gave an update on the post-tornado housing survey.
800 surveys were sent to residents on the south side of Dickinson using the reverse 911 system to obtain addresses. 126 residents responded for a return rate of 16 percent.
“In the survey nobody indicated they were leaving the community because of the storm and damage to their home,” Kessel said. ‘That was heartening.”
Kessel said there are some remaining issues that revolve around insurance claims not being paid or not be paid timely, as well as finding reputable contractors to complete the work in a timely fashion.
In other matters:
r Of the 18 businesses checked for alcohol compliance on Aug, 8, 13 passed. Two establishments, Ponderosa Liquors and El Sombrero were found to have two or more violations within a 24 month period and must appear before the commission at the next commission meeting to conduct a violations hearing.
r Kessel said after all efforts to remove water from the ductwork at the Dickinson Museum Center /Joachim Regional Museum, water still remains. Kessel said a mold test cannot be completed until the water is completely removed. Upon review of the options it appears that relocating the ductwork is the best and most efficient way of removing the obstacle. He added he hopes the museum can re-open in a few weeks.
The next meeting of the commission is slated to be held at 5:15 p.m., Sept. 21 at Dickinson City Hall.