City of Dickinson considers waste facility expansion

Matt Evans of the engineering firm Burns & McDonnell delivered a presentation on making an addition to the city's garbage and trash baling facility, which was built in 2002.

Dickinson City Hall is pictured.
Dickinson City Hall is pictured.
Dickinson Press file photo
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DICKINSON — During Tuesday's regularly scheduled commission meeting, the City of Dickinson introduced its new city engineer and heard a construction proposal for an expansion of its baler building.

Interim City Administrator Dusty Dassinger introduced Josh Skulzacek as the new city engineer and development director, opening the floor for Skulzacek to highlight his 15-year civil engineering career. A Dickinson resident for the past two years, Skulzacek will fill a position that has remained vacant from a permanent position for more than two years.

In his report to the commission Dickinson Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell explained his department had 187 calls for service in the month of August and 758 this year to date, a 46% increase from this time last year. Their August response times averaged five minutes 42 seconds for station 1, and seven minutes five seconds for station 2.

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“Just a reminder, we do a little more than just fire suppression. We do run EMS calls. We are the regional hazmat team. We do public education. We're out in the schools, we’re in the daycares, we’re doing fire prevention routes and inspecting businesses,” Presnell said.

He added that due to a severe staffing shortage at the Dickinson Ambulance service the fire department ran nearly all EMS calls within city limits for the month of August, with medical calls comprising 75% of the August call volume.


Matt Evans of the engineering firm Burns & McDonnell delivered a presentation on making an addition to the city's garbage and trash baling facility, which was built in 2002. Evans said that since then the amount of materials processed has tripled from 12 to 36 tons, and the original 12 man staff has increased to about 24. The building is used to store a fleet of trucks, which has also doubled in size, at night to protect it from harsh temperatures and snow.

He said the expansion will include additional baling floor space, offices, locker rooms, storage and a breakroom/training area. They’re also aiming to improve safety and traffic flow with a design that will enable drivers to move through more quickly. There will also be a public dropoff area. Evans provided a cost estimate for construction and engineering of approximately $8.4 million.

Public Works Director Gary Zuroff said he’s happy with the design and what it will do to boost safety, as trucks will no longer be backed up to Energy Drive.

The commission spent nearly an hour in an executive session discussing a contract negotiation.

Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson suggested that city meetings should start with the Pledge of Allegiance, as Stark County does at their commission meetings. Mayor Scott Decker agreed and said it would be discussed at a later date.

Commissioner John Odermann was not present at the meeting.

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Denver Fowler, renowned paleontologist and curator of the Badlands Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson, shares his ground breaking research on a newly discovered species of North American tyrannosaur. His work provides a link in a lineage leading to T-rex.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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