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Dickinson endorses Option 6; allows access to most businesses

Dickinson City commissioners have endorsed a recommendation that would move rail spurs near State Avenue, which would guarantee access to most businesses affected by a proposed railroad overpass along the street.

At its regular meeting on Monday at City Hall the commission voted unanimously to support Option 6b, which moves a rail spur without prohibiting access to companies on the west side of the road. The commissioners also voted unanimously to keep access to State Avenue on the east side for The Medicine Shoppe only, stating American Gas and Welding has sufficient access from First Street South.

The recommendation would also create access to State Avenue from Palm Beach Road north of the old clay plant along State Avenue South.

The commission voted to recommend these options to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, which has final say over the project, but places weight on the city’s endorsements.

The project will not be finished in the 2014 construction season, officials said. The overpass will instead take two season and is now slated for completion in 2015.

“It is going to make life a little more difficult for the DOT and their contractor, and it is going to make the project a longer project,” Commissioner Gene Jackson said. “But I think the pain — if you want to call it that — that we suffer as a community, short term, is well worth the gain that we’ll have long term.”

City engineer Craig Kubas recommended each option the commission voted for, as did Jackson.

“The greatest benefit of realigning was for ease of construction to help traffic move through the project,” Kubas said. “There’s a benefit in keeping the alignment where State Avenue is today, especially for some right-of-way access.”

In January the commission was charged with choosing between two back access options, but came to a tie vote at a special meeting at the end of that month. In February Option 6 was presented to the commission.

In other news:

V The commission voted unanimously for the first reading of the adoption of the 2012 International Fire Code.

Commissioners, Fire Chief Bob Sivak and fireworks vendors discussed the possibility of not only continuing to allow the sale of fireworks within city limits, but possibly adding a provision to allow fireworks to be shot off for a limited number of hours over the Independence Day holiday.

Commission President Dennis Johnson called the city’s current ordinance “unenforceable.”

Sivak will return to the March 17 meeting with amendments to the International Fire Code to allow for the sale and use of fireworks within city limits.

V The commission pushed a vote for the creation of an additional on-sale/off-sale liquor license to a later meeting, asking City Administrator Shawn Kessel to show solid proof of the city’s growth, which is needed to create another license, before voting on the license creation.

A vote was not casted.

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.  
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