Second annexation approved: Petitions fall short to stop city's decisionThe second annexation of 325 acres of land in north Dickinson was approved Monday evening at the Dickinson City Commission meeting held at City Hall.
The second annexation of 325 acres of land in north Dickinson was approved Monday evening at the Dickinson City Commission meeting held at City Hall.
The second annexation is being conducted because more than a dozen businesses and landowners in the annexed area filed suit against the city Jan. 5, and a second annexation would keep the property in city limits, according to previous Press articles.
City Attorney Matt Kolling gave a report to the Commission confirming the number of landowner’s petitions opposing the annexation did not meet the 25 percent standard required by law to prevent the annexation.
Kolling was asked to recalculate the findings he presented at the last Commission meeting after the numbers were challenged by Bill Gion, a spokesperson for several of the landowners.
Gion also asked to meet with Kolling or some of the commissioners to discuss the differences in their calculations. That meeting did not happen despite attempts on Kolling’s part to meet with Gion and Gion’s attorney.
“I believe Mr. Kolling made a good faith effort to meet with you,” Mayor Dennis Johnson said to Gion.
Kolling explained the discrepancies in findings were due to three reasons.
The first was that Gion included the petitions of landowners who filed petitions after the deadline, thereby disqualifying them.
The second reason was one of the protests filed by a business was signed by the business owner, not the landowner, which also disqualified it.
The third was that Gion included public right of way, which should not have been taken into consideration.
Gion also asked why the Commission drew the line where it did to which they responded they have the right to draw the annexation lines at their discretion.
Kolling added he recalculated the findings to include all those in opposition and it still did not meet the 25 percent standard.
In other business:
r Commissioners were presented a rough draft of what a local truck route through Dickinson might look like. The plan included having trucks on a portion of State Avenue to which two commissioners voiced objection.
The decision of whether to approve the route was tabled as commissioners felt it was best to discuss the truck route with the county as well.
City Engineer Shawn Soehren said there are plans to meet with Stark County officials and the North Dakota Department of Transportation at the end of the month for a similar reason, but added the truck route may be discussed at that time.
* The City Commission welcomed former Commissioner Joe Frenzel back to the Commission. Frenzel is taking the place of Rod Landblom who resigned due to a perceived conflict of interest in March. Frenzel was appointed to the Dickinson Public Library Board, Regional Airport Authority and will replace Commissioner Steiner on the Stark County Planning and Zoning Commission.
r Dickinson Police Captain Dustin Dassinger introduced Officer Gordon Stevens, 31, to the Commission. Stevens is a new officer in Dickinson. He is from Minnesota and said his family will soon join him.
r The Commission will approve up to $40,000 in funding for landscaping around the Stark County Courthouse, provided the county does the same. Landscaping is being done so a plaza can be built commemorating one of Theodore Roosevelt’s first public speeches. The funding will come from the hospitality tax.
r The Commission is also providing approximately $50,000 in funding for renovations to Southside Municipal Ballpark, which hosts the American Legion Central Plains Regional baseball tournament in August.