New houses triple in 2017 as economy grows
Construction of single family homes in Dickinson tripled in 2017. Through October, 56 new houses were constructed. In 2016, through October, only 18 houses were built. "We're about three times the amount," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said. "I...
Construction of single family homes in Dickinson tripled in 2017.
Through October, 56 new houses were constructed. In 2016, through October, only 18 houses were built.
"We're about three times the amount," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said. "If you look at our total from one year to the next, it's significant how many single family homes were constructed."
This growth signifies the local economy is rebounding, Kessel said.
"We had a down 2015 and 2016 represented what I call an even year, and 2017 has definitely been a rebounding year," he said. "This is more evidence of that."
New housing is a driver of greater economic activity.
"When you build a house," Kessel said, "not only are the construction materials, the employment, associated with that, but upon purchase people have to fill that house out, whether it's all the necessary appliances, draperies, furniture, all of that."
An improved oil economy helped to foster the growth, Kessel said. "Other sectors of our economy also performed very well. In the healthcare environment, our hospital has had a good year financially. I know (Dickinson State University) has more students this year than they did last year. That obviously bodes well."
Ryan Jilek, Stark Development Corp. executive vice president, said such also growth helps to increase the base for sales and property taxes.
"The tax base provides for all the needs we have as a community and all the things a community needs to provide," Jilek said, "whether it be schools, roads, infrastructure, street cleaning, down to simple services."
Community spirit has grown, as well, Jilek said.
"We see a lot of young families moving to town," he said. "They're good for the economy. Our birth rates are going through the roof."
In 2017, the average rate of births increased to 63 per month, Jilek said.
"Those numbers are putting more kids in schools and adding a lot to our economy in that way," he said.
Following years of "slow down with oil and gas," Jilek said, the growth seen in 2017 has been a "positive outcome."
"It's nice to see things starting to settle back in," he said. "We see it across the community as a whole. People are more friendly. We're coming back to where we have a nice community spirit again."
Kessel hopes growth will continue through 2018.
"The increase in births in Dickinson, the increase in students, certainly appears to show that families really like what Dickinson really has to offer and that further migration into our community will happen," he said. "I'm hopeful for an as good 2018 as 2017, and I don't see any storm clouds brewing on the economic timeline."