Hundreds of people gathered at the Ramada In Dickinson, ND on Tuesday for the annual State of the City address, organized by the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Scott Decker said the city is making gains in reducing its debt.
In 2019 the debt is projected to be a little more than $81 million with the city making annual debt payments of $5.3 million.
Representative Mike Lefor of District 37 said with the passage of Operation Prairie Dog will only help the city with its debt.
For the 2019- 2021 biennium Dickinson is projected to get an estimated 27.5 million.
Lefor said the money will be useful to pay off debts and property tax relief.
“I think the city is committed to being good stewards of those dollars by reducing debt and maybe throwing in a capital project or two in the meantime,” said Lefor.
Mayor Decker said a couple of the future projects the city is working on is a Downtown Square, Public Library Expansion, and a Dinosaur Museum Expansion.
At the gathering, Lefor also talked about some of the wins this legislative session that will impact the Queen City.
He also said with the signing of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential LIbrary funding bill, Dickinson will get $300,000, and the DSU Heritage Foundation will get $10 million that it can dedicate toward scholarships and its digitization program.
A bill was also passed this session that will rename Highway 22 to the Veterans Memorial Highway.
Lefor also said he is already focusing on what he would like to see addressed next biennium, like Legacy Fund earnings.
“There is an interim committee that is being out together of leadership that will hold hearings and asking citizens of this state where do you want those dollars allocated. Everyone has an idea,” said Lefor.
At the meeting, Mayor Decker said the city’s unemployment rate is around 2.3 percent, and the area is in need of skilled laborers.
He talked about putting together a task force to come up with solutions to help attract skilled workers to the area.
Also at the State of the City address, Dickinson Public Schools superintendent Shon Hocker and James Kramer, executive director at Dickinson Parks and Recreation gave updates.