Dickinson Continues to Grow - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Dickinson Continues to Grow

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Western North Dakota just keeps growing.

One city is moving full speed ahead to accommodate the demands of its growth.

Dickinson, North Dakota.

What used to be a five minute drive to get across town, is now a 15 to 20 minute drive.

"Most people who are here now are really dedicated to the community, want to see it grow, want to see it prosper. We want everybody here to be successful," says Gaylon Baker, Exec. Vice President, Stark Development Corporation.

And it sure is growing.

A town with a population of about 18 thousand is on the fast track to reaching 42 thousand in the not so distant future.

Shawn Kessel, Dickinson's City Administrator says they're planning for 1.4 million square feet of commercial projects to be constructed within next two years.

"We have about a half a billion dollars worth of infrastructure projects that are slated to be completed by the end of next year or the year after so it's going to be tough to get around town next year with all the construction that's going to happen," says Shawn Kessel, City Administrator, Dickinson.

Almost everywhere you go in town, you can see something new.

New hotels, strip malls, restaurants, schools, and the list goes on.

With the sudden increase in Western North Dakota's population, you may wonder how Dickinson can keep up with the influx of people.

"We've always tried to be as proactive as possible. That's difficult to do, you know, we're the third fastest growing small city in the nation right now and that means we're running all the time to try to stay ahead," says Kessel.

With growth can come growing pains but city officials say they're striving to leave a legacy for future generations.

"I'm excited about the prospect of the long-term jobs that we're developing that are jobs that are not necessarily real mobile but are very much the kind of jobs that bring households to the community that will make their lives here and be able to enjoy Western North Dakota in the way we have," says Baker.

"This is the largest expansion in the history of the city of Dickinson, in the history of Western North Dakota and we want to have our kids' kids look back and say, geez they did a good job," says Kessel.

In Dickinson for KX News, I'm Stephanie Scheurer.

Kessel says the city's comprehensive plan looks out to 2035.

Two major projects, Menards and Sanford Clinic, are set to open in February of 2014.

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