Dickinson State of the City Meeting Addresses Impacts of Bakken Slowdown

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The theme of Dickinson's state of the city meeting came as no surprise.

"As you all know, things are slowing down," said Dickinson Mayor Gene Jackson.

Jackson, along with three other city leaders, addressed the crowd on the current status of the city, and where it's headed.

"2016 is going to be a down year, but not to be that concerned about the future," said Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Helms opened the event by highlighting how activity in the Bakken has slowed, but its resources are as large as ever. He says when it comes back, cities like Dickinson need to be prepared for future residents.

"Cities plan for housing and recreation, and infrastructure, they need to plan around people coming from a different culture and a different background," said Helms.

Jackson presented figures from the city's most recent budget, and how they compare to previous years. He says as Dickinson moves in a different economic direction, it's important to not take on more than it can handle.

"We know we're rebalancing the Dickinson economy now," said Gaylon Baker, Stark Development Corporation.

Baker talked about the city's growth, while also addressing the recent decline in development due to low oil prices. This decline has also affected the city's airport.

"Delta's departure from the Dickinson market was unfortunate, however United Airlines has an opportunity to leverage its presence here in Dickinson," said Kelly Braun, Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport airport manager.

Braun says, although the airport has less traffic, it still has more guests than five years ago and that making improvements to the airport for when oil activity comes back is a priority.