Courtesy of Dickinson Press
“The state of our city in 2017 and going into 2018 is strong,” Mayor Scott Decker began a State of the City event held Thursday, Feb. 8, at Dickinson State University’s Biesiot Activities Center. “But we are still not without challenges.”
The city is committed, Decker said, to debt reduction and infrastructure projects. Among the city’s efforts, a feasibility study will be completed for a possible event center, Decker said. “An event center will complete us as a regional hub city,” he said.
Sales tax revenue has been increasing, Decker said, though the amount, roughly $8 million in 2017, is still down from the peak of the oil boom at $12 million in 2014. A strong effort has been underway to promote local spending over online spending. “That’s tax money we are not collecting,” he said.
Decker applauded Meridian Energy Group Inc. for choosing the Dickinson area for its Davis Refinery, saying it will have “a huge impact on our economy.”
A major effort for Dickinson, single-stream recycling begins in October.
“Not only are we going to do things that are better for our environment, we are a regional landfill. Over 20 communities dump their waste in our landfill,” Decker said. “We only have so much life left, and building a new landfill, with federal regulations, gets more and more difficult. We have to take care of the landfill we have.” A key challenge for the city, Decker said, is creating a new behavioral health center to meet the growing demands for mental health and addiction counseling.
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