City of Dickinson passes proclamation; youth commission to hold city seal creation contest

During a bimonthly meeting Tuesday, the Dickinson City Commission discussed a public library expansion project, the creation of an official city seal and passed a proclamation in observance of National Poppy Day.

Dickinson City Commission
Commissioners Suzy Sobolik, left, Jason Fridrich, Cheryl Evenson, Mayor Scott Decker, Shirley Herbel, Commissioners Nicole Wolla and John Oderman.
Contributed / Dickinson American Legion Auxiliary

DICKINSON — The Dickinson City Commission held its bimonthly meeting on Tuesday evening and discussed a variety of issues, including a public library expansion, National Poppy Day and the creation of a city seal.

Library Expansion

Deputy City Administrator and Dickinson Public Library Foundation Board member Linda Carlson proposed the commission take on a $5 million USDA rural development loan for its library expansion project.

The city previously pledged $3 million to the project, which was delayed due to the pandemic. Carlson said phase one will include more shelving and a toddler area for $6.1 million, with arts & crafts facilities in phase two for about $7 million.

“The thing I’m concerned with here is that we haven’t gotten an update on this project in a long time. And all of a sudden we get a request of, ‘Hey we’re gonna put you on the hook, potentially for another $5 million,’” Commissioner John Odermann said. “I don’t think that’s any fault of you or of the library but I would like, maybe at a future meeting in the near-term, to have some kind of an update on the project.”

As beneficiaries of the library’s services, Billings, Dunn, Golden Valley, Slope and Stark Counties provide it with financial support. Odermann and Mayor Scott Decker said they would like to know more about what those county commissions will be contributing before taking further action.


Commissioner Jason Fridrich noted that construction cost estimates may be outdated.

“If it was $6.2 million two years ago, it’s gonna be a lot more than that now,” Fridrich said.

Decker also asked about private fundraising. Carlson said she was unsure but would have more information by the next meeting.

Poppy Day

Dickinson American Legion Auxiliary volunteers Cheryl Evenson and Shirley Herbel presented the commissioners with poppies in commemoration of National Poppy Day, which will be observed on May 27 this year.

“These poppies were made by disabled American veterans. They represent the service and sacrifice of all our fallen soldiers in all wars,” Evenson said. “Mayor Decker, we thank you for your and all of our veterans’ service to our country.”

The tradition began in World War I as a way to honor fallen soldiers. Evenson noted the group will be handing them out at the Cashwise grocery store on May 27. Decker thanked them for getting the word out, and issued a proclamation officially recognizing the solemn occasion.

“America is the land of freedom, preserved and protected willingly and freely by citizen soldiers; whereas millions who’ve answered the call to arms have died on the field of battle. Whereas a nation at peace must be reminded of the price of war and the debt owed to those who have died in war,” Decker stated. “Therefore, I, Scott Decker, City Commission President, do hereby proclaim Friday, May 27, 2022 as Poppy Day and ask that all citizens pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom by wearing the memorial Poppy on this day.”

A motion was unanimously passed approving the proclamation.


Other business

Interim City Administrator Dustin Dassinger presented the commission with a proposal for artist Guillermo Avalos, who painted a bridge underpass for the city, to do another mural on the new Dickinson City Hall building at a cost of $16,000.

“I personally would rather see a city seal in this location. And I think it would be a great project for the youth commission to basically hold a city seal creation contest, and involve all the high schools, possibly the college and maybe even the art group, to design a city seal,” Decker said.

The rest of the commission agreed. Commissioner and youth commission mentor Suzy Sobolik said she would bring it up at the next youth commission meeting.

Lt. Mike Hanel reported to the commission that the Dickinson Police Department responded to 2,289 calls for service in the month of April, which Hanel said was on par with the previous year. Vaping has been a problem at Dickinson’s High School and Middle School, he said, adding that even heard a report of vaping at one of the elementary schools.

Police responded to 78 total car accidents in April with four injuries, 20 hit & runs and two pedestrians struck by a vehicle. Hanel made a point to warn residents about a telephone scam in which the caller claims to be calling from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and demands payment in the form of prepaid cards.

“Law enforcement will never contact citizens asking for money,” he said.

Human Relations Coordinator Shelly Nameniuk said the city has over a dozen job openings. They include an advanced computer technician, city administrator, building inspector, building facilities operator, garbage truck driver, geographic information systems technician, library assistant, police officers, summer street department laborers and part-time firefighters.

Dickinson City Commission meetings are held bimonthly on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 4:30 p.m. For those unable to attend, the meetings are live streamed and posted on YouTube.

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 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. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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