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City approves RFP for events center

City Commissioners Tuesday approved sending out a request for proposals for a possible new events center.

A consulting company will be selected to come in and complete a study to help determine if such a project is feasible for Dickinson, Joe Gaa, city administrator, said.

"And, if so, perhaps what should be included, the size and approximate cost, to construct and operate it," Gaa said.

A list of consultants will be brought back to commissioners in March for selection.

The study could be started as early as May, with the results returned to the commissioners by August or September.

Mayor Scott Decker supports the creation of an events center.

"I'm 100 percent behind it," he said. "I think we need it as a piece to the puzzle that is our quality of life. Hopefully we can get some good information to lead us in the right direction for the completion of this project."

Commissioner Jason Fridrich concurred, saying Dickinson would benefit from the project.

"It's another item of our quality of life that a city this size needs to continue to draw good employment candidates and families," he said. "I'll be really interested to see how the RFP comes back and if we have the capability of supporting it."

In other business:

A description for a new city position was brought to commissioners.

The utility manager position combines two previous jobs, water reclamation facility manager and water utilities manager.

This person would oversee both departments.

"This position is responsible for coordinating, directing, facilitating and managing operations and maintenance activities of the utilities division of the public works department," Shelly Nameniuk, human resources coordinator, said.

Commissioners also approved closing an existing state revolving fund loan.

"It was one old loan, similar to a construction loan," City Engineer Craig Kubas said. "We were approved up to $42 million and we drew on that loan as we built projects."

From the loan, the city built almost all of its major sewer projects over the last six years.

"The state would like to see this loan closed up, too," Kubas said. "It's been open since probably 2012."

With the old loan closed, the city will draw on three new state revolving fund loans for three projects in 2019.

These projects include: a reuse water station loan, for a project on Highway 10 and 116th Avenue; improvements to Lift Station No. 1, on East Broadway Street; and the south gravity sewer main project.

This project will start at Eighth Street West, flow north along Fifth Avenue, to Fourth Avenue and Third Avenue, and conclude at Lift Station No. 5.

"It's an old main, and it's over capacity," Kubas said. "There's really no more room for development there with those multi-family apartments that went in on the south of Eighth Street."