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Dickinson amends city code to allow adult entertainment center; approves bid for Downtown Square

The Dickinson City Commission met Tuesday, reviewing various city topics such as adult entertainment ordinances and the proposed 2022 mill and overlay project.

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Products of adult entertainment are pictured. The City of Dickinson amended its city code to allow for adult entertainment establishments to be more allowable within city limits and under certain zoning districts. The Dickinson City Commission met Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, at City Hall to approve a few ordinances that amends Chapter 39. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

This week, the City of Dickinson moved forward with the first reading of amendments to the city code allowing for adult entertainment businesses to move forward within certain zoning districts, as well as wireless communication in the public right-of-way.

The Dickinson City Commission met Tuesday, Sept. 21, at City Hall during its regularly scheduled meeting to approve four ordinances that would amend the city code. Planning Director Walter Hadley and city attorney Christina Wenko presented the four ordinances — 1726 through 1729 — to the commission during the public hearing.

The commission unanimously approved the first reading of Ordinance 1726 of Chapter 39, which allows for wireless telecommunication facilities in the public right-of-way. According to city documents, "residents, businesses and public safety operations in the city must have reliable access to wireless telecommunications network technology and state of the art mobile broadband communications services, accommodated by the city's deployment of wireless communications facilities and services within the public right-of-way."

“It’s kind of a new option for the cell companies to provide that service. It’s regulated by the FCC — a lot of it,” Hadley said. “And so we’ve had a couple of workshops and then also public hearings for the Planning Commission. No general public input on it. The Planning Commission did recommend approval of this… It does allow (for) installations within our public right-of-way, which right now we don’t currently allow.”

City documents also state the the location of any wireless communication facilities must be made known, an installation permit is required and the city may issue a required payment of a "nonrefundable installation permit application fee at the time an installation permit application is submitted," which is approved by the Dickinson City Commission and adopted in the Wireless Facilities Guideless. The fee is not to exceed $270. Other items considered within this ordinance include proximity to other facilities, general conditions such as design (height, antenna size, signage, cabling/wiring) and equipment standards.

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Wenko added that Ordinance 1726 is necessary for the City of Dickinson moving forward.

“There is a major push for this. We get requests all the time from the North Dakota Department of Transportation to sign agreements with regard to these facilities,” Wenko said, explaining, “We are in the technology era, so we’re going to see more of these and I think it’s very important that the city has something on the books that we’re able to regulate these to some degree.”

The Planning Commission hosted several workshops on adult entertainment ordinances, including public hearings Hadley said, adding that there was no opposition from the public.

“This is an amendment to clean up our existing code. You can see there’s amendments to Chapter 3 and Chapter 39… what it does is any adult entertainment as defined would be allowed in the limited industrial and industrial zones, with a special use permit granted by the Planning Commission and yourselves (city commission),” Hadley said during the commission meeting.

Ordinance 1727 would specifically allows for adult entertainment in those zoning districts, Wenko noted. The vast majority of industrial zoned areas within the city are located in the southeast corner of town and away from residentially zoned areas. For a full breakdown of industrial zoned areas, visit dickinsongov.com/citizen-interests/maps and follow the "Dickinson Zoning Map" link.

Other city business including moving forward with project bids for the Dickinson Town Square . City Administrator Brian Winningham presented three lowest bids for the overall total construction cost under Tooz Construction Inc. as the general contractor slated for the commission's approval — including the general prime apparent low bid at approximately $3.59 million, the mechanical prime apparent low bid at $222,400 and the electrical prime apparent low bid for $292,600. The overall construction costs, excluding the alternates of the project such as pergolas and splash pad lighting, total to approximately $4.3 million.

Commissioner John Odermann made the motion to approve the three bids for the overall construction. Following the unanimous approval of the construction bids, the commission approved the following alternates: alley, sidewalks. flagpole and associated lighting, four pergolas.

In August, the City of Dickinson received a donation of $200,000 from the Marathon Petroleum Foundation to help contribute to the Dickinson Town Square project.

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"... That process can wait as long as you want it to, but the price could change. So the quicker you make the decision, the more sure the cost is. But if you delay that decision for a few months, this price is no longer guaranteed," Zach Mathern of JLG Architects said, adding, "The value of steel may have gone up so the prices may change. So the amount of time you have is related to the cost. So it's not as simple as you have a month; you have more than that if you're willing to potentially pay more."

The commission also unanimously approved a task order with KLJ Engineering, LLC., for the professional services consisting of preliminary engineering, design, bidding and construction administration with the Dickinson 2022 Mill and Overlay project. This task order is set to not exceed $175,000, which is “a conservative amount based on last year’s budget,” city documents attest.

According to city documents, this project will follow a similar process as in 2020 with a presentation to the commission on potential areas to include. These areas would be based upon need, future work cited for areas and budget.

“Additionally, we intend to create a Special Improvement District for assessments pertaining to needed concrete work, following similar guidelines as the last two mill and overlay projects,” city documents outlined.

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City attorney Christina Wenko addresses the public and Dickinson City Commission during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, at City Hall, discussing a few different ordinances that would allow for more adult entertainment establishments within certain zoning districts in the city. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

The next Dickinson City Commission is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5. The City of Dickinson announced that it will have a special commission meeting , or a joint zoning transitional meeting, beginning at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at City Hall, where a quorum of the Dickinson City Commission could be in attendance to discuss the 2-mile City of Dickinson ETZ Expansion . As stated on the city's website, "it is not expected that any City of Dickinson business will be discussed collectively by the Board of City Commissioners."

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Planning Director Walter Hadley speaks before the Dickinson City Commission during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, at City Hall. (Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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