Business continues after Johnson: City approves $1 million for Domestic Violence Center facility

The Dickinson City Commission approved a resolution to contribute $1 million in funding for the development of a new facility for the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center during its Monday night meeting at City Hall.

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Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson City Commissioners, from left, Scott Decker, Carson Steiner, Gene Jackson and Klayton Oltmanns hold their first meeting without former mayor and commission president Dennis Johnson on Monday night at City Hall.

The Dickinson City Commission approved a resolution to contribute $1 million in funding for the development of a new facility for the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center during its Monday night meeting at City Hall.
The city money would come from revenues collected through Dickinson’s 1 percent sales and use tax, of which 30 percent is earmarked for capital improvements intended to increase the social and economic vitality of the city and region.
Municipal funds would be distributed to the center for up to three years, with the rate of funding determined on an annual basis until the $1 million is fulfilled.
The center also hopes to draw up to $750,000 of funding through a state grant provided in a $2 million total package earmarked by the North Dakota Legislature to serve shelters in Dickinson, Williston and Minot.
Darianne Johnson said the center’s current facility is a house that shelters 18 women and children.
“I think what our staff is most excited about, and me as well, is to have a playroom as big as we can possibly make it,” Johnson said, adding that the current facility’s space for children was about as big as the center section of the commissioners’ bench.
She said the center hopes the new facility, to be built for an estimated cost of $4.5 million on land donated by CHI St. Joseph’s Health on its new campus, would raise the number of beds to 30 and provide each family unit with an individual bedroom.
Residents at the current facility share a total of four bedrooms.
The new facility would also feature a space to house its residents’ pets, as per the request of its granters, an amenity not available at the current space.
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said the existing facility may be purchased by the city for municipal use or resale.
Dinosaur museum contents to transfer to city management
The specimens of the Dakota Dinosaur Museum will be assumed by the city this spring, as per a gift agreement approved by the commissioners Monday.
Under the agreement, the bulk of which remains unchanged from a draft read at the last commission meeting, the city would take on the museum’s exhibits in exchange for $32,500 in debt relief.
Further stipulations for the agreement, which must be met by March 31, will require the city to hire a full-time, qualified overseer to manage and curate the collection, maintain the exhibits as they are for a year after the transition is made and change the museum’s name and logo, omitting the word “Dakota.”
The only change from the previous reading of the agreement is an expanded timeline for meeting the stipulations contained in the agreement.
That change was made after the commission questioned the likelihood of hiring on a qualified staff member, who, in this case, would be a paleontologist or geologist, by the previous deadline of Dec. 31.
Early plans for the acquisition of the dinosaur museum include a unification with the Dickinson Museum Center, housed in the same building but separated by a wall.
That plan would have placed former museum director Dan Ingram, who resigned in October and officially left his position last Friday, as the head of the combined museum.
With Ingram’s departure, the city will have to hire both Ingram’s replacement and an overseer for the dinosaur museum.
Special Assessment Commission appointment fills Bleth’s vacancy
Dickinson insurance agent John Reger was appointed to the city’s Special Assessment Commission by the commissioners Monday night.
Reger’s appointment, effective Tuesday, will allow him to take over the remainder of former Special Assessment Commission Chairman Gary Bleth’s term.
Bleth announced his resignation, effective as of Monday, at the commission’s Sept. 10 meeting.
The Special Assessment Commission will be full at five commissioners with Reger’s appointment.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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