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Open for business: Ribbon cutting held for Dickinson's public works, animal shelter

Dickinson's new public works facility and animal shelter is open for business, a little more than a year after it broke ground. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined local officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday before a crowd of City Co...

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North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, left, walks toward the new animal shelter Monday with City Administrator Shawn Kessel. The shelter and neighboring public works facility opened almost a year after they broke ground. Press Photo by Nadya Faulx

Dickinson’s new public works facility and animal shelter is open for business, a little more than a year after it broke ground.

 

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined local officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday before a crowd of City Commission members and public works employees.

 

Dalrymple said the state, which contributed $2.9 million toward the public works building through an Energy Impact Grant, will continue to put money toward development in western North Dakota.

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"We are making the effort along with you," he said. "We know that you need these big investments."

 

The $16 million facility will replace the old water and street buildings, which workers said earlier this year that they’ve simply outgrown. Architect Janet Prchal of Hulsing and Associates, Prairie Electric, KLJ and Shingobee were behind the design and construction of what Mayor Dennis Johnson called a "large, state-of-the-art" building.

 

Public Works director Gary Zuroff said he and a couple of other city employees have moved into the new 96,000-square-foot facility, but that the full move will be made over the coming weeks.

 

"To provide services and move in at the same time, it will take quite a while to move," he said.

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The old public works buildings will be used to house different entities. Southwest Water is in talks to use the water facility. Zuroff said the parks and recreation administration might move some personnel into what was the street works building.

 

The neighboring animal shelter will fill up more quickly. Animal control officer Vern Nelson said he will move about 19 cats and three dogs from the current pound on the south side of the city, which has been in use for roughly 30 years - about as long as Nelson has been with the department.

 

Nelson said the updated infrastructure will allow him to take on volunteers, as well as advertise the animals more widely on sites like Petfinder.com

 

Melissa Gordon, secretary of the board of directors at Oreos’ Animal Rescue, which fosters many homeless animals from the city pound, said the new shelter will help the organization and the city’s pet population.

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"We’ve needed this for many, many years," she said.

 

Johnson said local and state governments are working together to address the "enormous financial needs" of communities in the region.

 

"As we all know, communities in the Bakken are growing rapidly," he said, adding that it will take much more planning and investments to proactively manage the growth.

 

The public works facility, including the animal shelter, was just one of the the city’s Capital Infrastructure Improvement Plan projects; several other projects on the list are currently in the works or have been completed, including the West River Community Center and Dickinson Recreation Center expansions, and a new pump station, totaling roughly $200 million, Johnson said.

 

"There are several more waiting to be added" to the plan, he said. "The city’s goal has been to grow responsibly and enhance our quality of place. And I’m very pleased with the results today."

 

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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