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City funds $38 million for engineering projects in budget reforecast

The city of Dickinson is moving forward with $38 million in funded capital improvement projects following a reforecast of this year's budget. City Engineer Craig Kubas presented the budget information and project updates Monday night at the regul...

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The city of Dickinson is moving forward with $38 million in funded capital improvement projects following a reforecast of this year’s budget.

City Engineer Craig Kubas presented the budget information and project updates Monday night at the regular meeting of the City Commission and said the two largest projects of the 29 total were the State Avenue overpass and the truck bypass route north of Exit 56 on Interstate 94 -- both largely undertaken by the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Other big-ticket items among the remaining projects included the $3.5 million construction of a lift station and the $2.5 million installation of a water main on the east side of town.

Despite continued high investment in city engineering programs, Kubas said much of the major work is already done.

“We built our really big projects in last two or three years,” he said. “Now we’re getting to more manageable projects.”

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Building permits dropped through last year

The total number of building permits issued in Dickinson decreased by 64 percent between the end of last year and the year before that.

Statistics gathered by the city’s building department and shared at Monday’s meeting showed a decrease in total permits from 314 at the end of 2014 to 113 at the end of last year.

Of that total, housing made up the largest share of the decline.

Single-family structure building permits fell nearly 67 percent, from 268 to 89, and the number of permits issued for multi-family and row housing dropped from 10 to two.

Miscellaneous permits were cut by more than half, from 2,362 issued in 2014 to 1,083 awarded by the end of last year.

The number of commercial structure permits issued in that time declined at a lower rate, from 31 to 20.

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Along with the permits themselves, new building permit values also fell. Values were cut nearly in half, from more than $214.5 million in 2014 to last year’s total of $107.8 million.

The fees remitted to the city dropped by a little more than one-fifth, from about $1.5 million to a little more than $1.2 million.

City Commission President Gene Jackson said he didn’t think the statistics were “any surprise.” “We knew those numbers were coming when we got to the last half of the year,” Jackson said.

Lighting special assessment district to move forward

The protest period for the Koch’s Meadow Hills and Country Oaks Estates lighting special assessment district has closed without sufficient protest to bar the district from moving forward.

City Attorney Jennifer Gooss said the area in question consisted of more than 6 million square feet of property that would eventually be assessed.

Protest would have had to have come from the owners of more than 50 percent of the area to halt the formation of the assessment district.

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Gooss said the city did receive timely protest accounting for 7.7 percent of the area, as well as late protests that would have added to just over 11 percent.

The next step of the project, Gooss said, will be to gather the complete construction documents, including plans, specifications and estimates for the work to be done, and bring those forth for approval by the commission.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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