Jan. 25—DICKINSON — The City of Dickinson has seen a significant boost in revenue streams in recent years, with a 28% increase in oil impact revenue and the highest sales tax collections in the past seven years, according to City Accountant Robert Morey. The findings were presented at a recent City Commission meeting, where the commission also approved two policy amendments addressing inclement weather and additional holidays for city staff.
Morey presented commissioners with financial data showing that the City of Dickinson experienced a continuation of their upward trend in yearly revenue streams, with tax revenues showing an increase in the past few years after an expected drop in 2020. Specifically, the oil impact revenue has seen a significant increase, rising from $11,247,328 in 2020, to $13,516,796 in 2021, and reaching $17,303,256 in 2022.
"We're at the highest we've been since 2016," Morey said. "So about a 28% increase there."
He charted information gathered since 2016, showing a large increase in sales tax revenue as well.
"So you can see we're at about $10.1 million in our total 1.5% sales tax collections in '22, which is pretty significantly higher than the $8.9 million we ended with in 2021," Morey said. "This is the highest collections in sales tax we've had in the last seven years."
Hospitality tax revenue was up from $924,646 in 2021 to $991,630 in 2022 and occupancy tax revenue has also jumped from $265,679 in 2020 to $368,116 in 2022, according to Morey's charts.
During the meeting the Commission approved the final reading of two proposed policy amendments during a Jan. 24 meeting. One amendment addresses inclement weather and the other gives city staff additional holidays.
The Weather and Emergency Closure amendment specifies that the city administrator will decide if there is no work or a delay in work due to weather or other emergency and will make an effort to make this declaration through official city communication channels. Employees who are unable to work during an undeclared event, such as weather, must use paid time off. During a declared emergency, benefitted employees will receive up to eight hours of paid weather/emergency closure leave for any scheduled work time that is missed due to the event.
The amendment further stipulates that non-exempt, benefitted employees who are essential for safety will receive premium pay, or one-half of their regular rate of pay in addition to their regular rate of pay, for time worked during a declared event.
Commissioner John Odermann asked if the changes would have a financial impact. Deputy City Administrator Linda Carlson said the changes are figured into the 2023 budget as expected overtime.
"When we figure budget in, we figure all days," Linda Carlson. "I should say we budget for what we believe, but there's always going to be circumstances of storms or no storms."
The second part of the amendment would add the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day as holidays for city employees.
The meeting was open for public comments, but none were made and commissioners voted unanimously to approve the policy changes.
Marketing and Events Director Joel Walters gave commissioners a presentation regarding new branding and style guidelines that have been developed, including logos for Dickinson Legacy Square.
"They are a list of rules or parameters created for an organization to define the look and feel of the brand," Walters said. "These provide an identity for an organization that can be easily recognized across all platforms. These guidelines provide detailed instructions on everything from brand typography and graphics to the mission statements and tone or the general feel of the brand. Brand standards should be strictly adhered to by all parties for unified and professional presentation by the organization and in this case on behalf of the City of Dickinson and all those entities that fall under the purview of the city."
Odermann and Mayor Scott Decker said they were fond of the guidelines, which included color schemes and fonts for different applications.
"I know you spent a lot of time on this and I think it's definitely going to improve the look," Decker said. "There's a lot of good things coming to Dickinson right now and it's a good time to do this."
Commissioner Robert Baer voted against implementing the branding and style guide, but the other commissioners voted in favor, passing a motion to approve it.
"I'm sorry, I'm just not sold on the design or the colors," Baer said.
In other matters, commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of a $315,800 loader that will be used in connection with a recently purchased snowblower. Solid Waste and Recycling Manager Aaron Praus said a plow that city workers will soon be utilizing also has a snow gate attached. Snow gates reduce the amount of snow deposited in driveways.