City approves land purchaseIn a verbal agreement with a local construction company that may have saved Dickinson’s Section 8 housing, Dickinson City Commissioners voted to purchase south side land, Monday evening.
By: Lisa Call, The Dickinson Press
In a verbal agreement with a local construction company that may have saved Dickinson’s Section 8 housing, Dickinson City commissioners voted to purchase south side land, Monday evening.
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said a verbal deal was formed with Tooz Construction Inc. to relocate the apartments, adding the city will sell land to facilitate the transfer of the Section 8 units.
Tracy Tooz, vice president of Tooz Construction Inc. in Dickinson, said he and the city made a verbal agreement on a sort of land swap.
“We had to facilitate the land sale within about a 14-day period to declare a state of emergency on that property and without the agreement with the city on the transfer of land, those 30 housing units would have went back into the state roll on Nov. 15,” Tooz said.
Since the zoning on the land the apartment’s sat on was changed to single family more than 10 years ago, the apartments cannot be reconstructed in that location, Kessel said.
Tooz said he purchased the land himself, and soon thereafter, formed a partnership with Gary Stenson, owner of MetroPlains Development LLC, a St. Paul, Minn. based development company.
After the city purchases the south side land at a price tag of about $130,000, the pair plans to construct Section 8 housing units on land the city will sell to them, located on Dickinson’s north side.
“What this means for the city of Dickinson is that they are going to keep 30 Section 8 homes and rebuild them in Dickinson,” Tooz said.
The city has tentative plans to take the 47,000 square feet of south side land, subdivide it into single-family unit lots and recover costs as best as possible, Kessel said.
“We still may come out even on the deal, even if the Section 8 housing doesn’t get built,” Kessel said.
As the city is still rebuilding from a devastating July 8 tornado, it is also still cleaning up from Mother Nature’s most recent showing.
City Engineer Shawn Soehren said with the mileage that had to be covered during initial snow removal, it took about five days to get back around and start the cleanup process as many snow drifts were filling up as fast as they could be removed.
Dickinson is comprised of 130 miles of city streets, 45 of which are considered priority during snow events.
Soehren, who oversees snow removal procedures, said the city has about 508 hours of overtime invested in cleanup procedures.
Soehren said it takes about 32 hours of labor and six crews to make priority streets such as State Avenue and Villard Street, accessible and passable.
Crews spent about 11 hours to remove snow on 13th Avenue West, Empire Road and Seventh Avenue West, Soehren said.
The remaining 85 miles of city streets, which are considered non-priority, take about 43 hours to open up, he said.
“To open the streets, we basically have about 75 hours of crew time to do that and we’ve got six crews so it takes us just about 13 hours to get the streets passable,” Soehren said.
This process does not include removing the snow to widen streets, which takes three crews and about 130 hours of work and would add an additional two days onto cleanup of priority streets.
Soehren said he is also looking into the use of snow gates, a device on a snowplow’s blade that has the potential to stop snow from piling up on driveways.
However, with the amount of snow the area can receive at times, snow gates have the potential to snap off the plow, he said.
Mayor Dennis Johnson requested some research be done on adding snow gates.
Kessel said the city has applied for about $100,000 in snow removal reimbursements from a snow emergency fund established in last Legislative session.
In other business:
- Lori Jordheim, Stark County area census count coordinator, said in the eight county region the Complete Counts Committee serves, only Stark County residents will receive their census forms by mail. The remaining counties will receive a hand-delivered form.
- Six residents whose homes suffered severe damage during a July tornado, applied and were approved for property tax abatements.
- Glen Roshau, of Dickinson, was appointed to replace Todd Tavis, also of Dickinson, on the Civil Service Commission.