Shawn Kessel is departing as Dickinson city administrator.

"I've accepted a position in Minnesota, and will be moving in June to take on the duties of my new role as a city administrator," Kessel told The Dickinson Press on Wednesday.

A transition team will be established and the city will proceed with finding a new administrator, Mayor Scott Decker said.

Decker commended Kessel for his service to the city.

"Shawn has served the city loyally. When opportunities arise, I think people need to take them if it meets their goals and their career," he said. "We had a really good relationship and we had been working toward possibly extending that and Shawn chose to go to his new location."

Kessel began serving as city administrator in January 2009.

When he started, Dickinson was a "much different community," he said.

"We were quite a bit smaller from a population standpoint, from a geographic standpoint. We had a lagoon system. We didn't have a public safety center, an expanded community center. We didn't have a new public works building," he said. "It was a way different community than what we are today."

The energy industry boom starting in 2012 brought numerous challenges that were met by the city, Kessel said.

"I believe that I'm leaving the community in a better place than when I came," he said.

While serving as city administrator, Dickinson has received national, regional and statewide awards and recognition.

The rewards for Kessel, though, have been greater.

"The thing I'm most proud of," he said, "is the team of professionals I got to work with on a regular basis, that I helped to hire and bring on board, because not only were they part of winning those awards, they're going to stay here and they're going to continue to provide excellent recommendations to the city commission and provide a path forward."

A native of Dickinson, whose parents were part of the first graduating class at Trinity High School, Kessel won't be going away completely.

"My family's been embedded in Dickinson and will be for some time," he said. "I'll be coming back to Dickinson periodically, much like I have for my whole life, to spend Christmases and other family events here."