Dickinson allocates $400K for utilitiesIf the City of Dickinson gives $400,000 to extend sewer and water across Interstate 94 near Exit 59, it risks the chance of not reclaiming that money, officials said at the Monday City Commission meeting at City Hall.
If the City of Dickinson gives $400,000 to extend sewer and water across Interstate 94 near Exit 59, it risks the chance of not reclaiming that money, officials said at the Monday City Commission meeting at City Hall.
“The ownership changes or can change, and if Roers happens to be the developer, the likelihood of us recovering this initial $400,000 becomes a little more remote,” City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.
The commissioners unanimously voted to allocate funds to Roers Development Inc. on the condition that an agreement is drafted and passed.
Phase 2 of the project could cost more than $805,000, according to a letter from Roers President Larry Nygard. The total project is estimated at approximately $1.25 million.
Roers asked the city to participate in the expansion to facilitate a 300-acre tract of land for commercial and residential use.
Kessel would not comment on exactly what would go on the property. Mayor Dennis Johnson said Roers could announce what businesses would come to the area in May.
If the city would contribute $400,000 to the project, Roers would cover additional funds for the second phase.
Expansion of the city is expected to jump I-94 on the west side, Kessel said, adding sewer and water must also be extended.
If another owner arises, the city could recover that amount through special assessments.
Commissioner Gene Jackson believes a “tremendous tax base” will be created from the project, and the citizens will see other benefits from the development. Kessel added the city could recoup that money through taxes.
Johnson said it isn’t fair that Roers absorb all of the costs for the utilities extension.
“If they come close to developing what they indicated as possibilities, I think we are going to see land adjacent to their development become very desirable land to development,” Johnson said. “That will add a lot of value to that area.”
Representatives from Roers were unavailable for comment.
In other news, City Attorney Matthew Kolling reported on an ordinance that would lower penalties for littering in the city to a $200 fine. Littering is a class B misdemeanor which carries a fine up to $1000 and 30 days in jail.
The punishment for littering is equivalent to that of driving under the influences and domestic assault, Kolling said.
“What we have seen in our past several months of doing municipal court contract is that officers are maybe reluctant to issuing littering tickets because of the grading of the offense,” he said.
The intention is to give officers an incentive to issue more tickets for littering, adding it could help control littering in Dickinson.
While Dickinson Police Chief Dustin Dassinger agreed the fines were excessive and it may deter officers from issuing a citation, he wasn’t sure what cases Kolling was talking about.
“I think the majority of our littering issues or debris in our city is coming from contracted construction sites,” Dassinger said. “As far as the littering offense, you have to remember that a police officer has to witness the incident before an individual is cited for littering.”
The commissioners agreed it made sense to reduce the fines. They will vote on the first reading on May 7.