On Tuesday, the Dickinson City Commission unanimously voted to approve construction documents for the Dickinson Town Square project, moving forward with the bid process.

Starting Monday, Aug. 9, the project will be publicly advertised for three weeks. Following that process, the city will then look at incoming bidders and the commission will then potentially vote on what options they want to construct during its first meeting in September, City Administrator Brian Winningham said. The bid opening would likely be on Sept. 1

“So, some options won't be won't be constructed, and we just hope that we have our public-private partnership raise enough funds that all options can be built to have a better Town Square,” Winningham said. “So things like the synthetic ice rink — or whether it's going to be a real ice rink, some of the things with the lighting. Some of the things that are options, we would like to have those considered during construction, instead of just cutting those out.”

Winningham remarked that this has been a four to five year process of launching this project. With current inflation rates and fluctuating markets, the estimated project costs increased by $114,000 from prior estimates to approximately $4.1 million, bringing the project slightly above $52,000 of the current approved budget.

“There’s some goodness. Labor will be a pretty steady cost. So I think that our labor market, it’ll definitely benefit those that want to do some work for the companies that do bid and earn that bid. You can’t really compete with material costs; they are what they are. But I believe that our dollar today is strong enough that we should try to get it on record now before we see more inflation,” he said, explaining, “So the sooner we can get projects with cash we have now and money that's available, it's better. Because I think we're going to have higher inflation or at least it's not going to go down, it's going to stay steady. And so we might as well try to get the project, sooner rather than later.”

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Upon approval of the construction documents and bidding process, some levels of construction would begin this fall such as underground and concrete work. Once spring rolls around, construction would then pick up with a goal completion by the fall of 2022.