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United Airlines announces intent to cease service to Dickinson

United Airlines will cease its service to Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in September, less than a year after Delta Airlines did the same.

(From left to right) City Commission members Carson Steiner, Scott Decker, Klayton Oltmanns and Sarah Jennings at the board's Tuesday evening meeting at City Hall. The commissioners intend to fill their last empty seat by appointment until a special election can be held in tandem with the November general election.
(From left to right) City Commission members Carson Steiner, Scott Decker, Klayton Oltmanns and Sarah Jennings at the board's Tuesday evening meeting at City Hall. The commissioners intend to fill their last empty seat by appointment until a special election can be held in tandem with the November general election.

United Airlines will cease its service to Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in September, less than a year after Delta Airlines did the same.

City Administrator Shawn Kessel said Tuesday at the Dickinson City Commission's regular meeting that the airline had communicated its intent to suspend operations in Dickinson to the city but was quick to say the outcome might not strand would-be flyers.

"We've been in contact with the governor's office and United Airlines and are working with them to ensure continued service in a seamless fashion so there's really no, or little, change in the service they offer today," said Kessel.

United Airlines would participate in the Department of Transportation's Essential Air Service program, Kessel said, which is a route the city of Dickinson has used with providers in the past.

He added that he was "hopeful this grant process won't take too long" and said the federal delegation for the governor's office has provided assurances that service from United could continue uninterrupted.

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Commission will appoint fifth member until November special election

Not long after it was reshaped by the June primary election, the City Commission discussed its options Tuesday to fill its last remaining open seat.

Kessel listed five potential courses of action the commission may take to create a full city board, which range from leaving the seat vacant until its term expires in a little more than two years, to holding a special election to fill the seat immediately.

City Commission President Scott Decker said his personal preference would follow Kessel's suggestion of appointing a replacement commissioner until November, at which point a special election could be held in tandem with the general election.

"We can go about the same process where we take some input from the public or nominations from the public," said Decker. " ... With the budget process coming up, I think we need all five commissioners."

The fifth seat was opened after Decker won the commission president position in the June primary election, which left his old seat vacant.

On Tuesday, the other commissioners agreed with the suggested course of action and expressed a will to involve public input and participation.

"I wouldn't mind that, in the next few days, we open it up to the public to apply or show interest in filling that vacancy," said City Commission Vice President Klayton Oltmanns.

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Kessel said the city could run advertisements to reach out to the public to draw forth potential commissioner candidates. Both Decker and Oltmanns, along with commissioner Carson Steiner, said they'd like to find another commission member by the next board meeting on July 18.

City staff hires new deputy city administrator for finance

After an extended search, city staff have hired on a new deputy city administrator for finance and administrative services.

Linda Carlson, the current finance manager for the city of Casper, Wyo., will fill the Dickinson position with a starting date of Aug. 1.

Kessel said Carlson has been employed with the city of Casper for over 12 years and also has a background in banking.

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