Dickinson is located on the beautiful Dickinson Bayou in Galveston County, midway between the Cities of Houston and Galveston along Interstate 45. Dickinson is located between League City, Texas City, Alvin, and Bacliff.
With a total land area of 10.3 square miles, 70 percent is residential and about 8 percent is commercial development. Dickinson offers its residents and visitors an inviting lifestyle with a “small town feel” while close to the attractions and amenities of a major urban center with culture, recreation, shopping and dining for almost any taste. Recreational amenities include youth baseball fields and a County-maintained boat dock.
Educational needs of the majority of Dickinson students are served by the Dickinson Independent School District, while some attend schools within the Santa Fe Independent School District. Charter, private and parochial schools are available within the community. A community college, College of the Mainland, is located in adjacent Texas City, and a number of private and public universities are in the greater Houston area, including several nationally-known research universities and medical centers.
The City of Dickinson is a Home Rule municipality with a council-manager form of government. The City Council consists of a Mayor and six Council Members, with one member designated as Mayor Pro Tem. The Mayor votes in the case of a tie. All members of the Council are elected at-large and serve three-year staggered terms. The Mayor and Council is the City’s governing body tasked with enacting local legislation through ordinances and resolutions providing vision, policy, fiscal oversight and public safety.
The City Administrator is appointed by the City Council and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the City. The position is tasked with administering the City’s administrative policies and ensuring enforcement of ordinances and resolutions approved by the City Council. By City Charter, the City Council appoints the City Administrator, City Secretary, Police Chief, Municipal Court Judge and City Attorney.
The City offers the following services: administration, community development, economic development, emergency medical services, finance department, fire marshal’s office, library, municipal court and public works. Utilities are provided by a separate entity, the Galveston County Water Improvement District No. 1.
The City Council appoints the members of the Dickinson Economic Development Corporation, a 4-B entity under Texas Statutes. Other appointments by the City Council include the members of various City Boards and Commissions, as well as members of Management District No. 1, Dickinson Educational Finance Corporation, and Bayou Lakes Public Improvement Districts No. 1 and No. 2. The City participates in an inter-local agreement with the Cities of Clear Lake Shores and Santa Fe to provide animal control and sheltering.
Originally a land grant from the Mexican government to John Dickinson, the City is one of the oldest settlements on the mainland of Galveston County. As rail service was established in the area, by 1860 the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad offered service from Houston to Galveston with a stop in Dickinson. Construction of the Interurban, the Houston, Galveston Electric Railway, featured three stops in Dickinson.
Industrialization and growth in the petroleum industry in the Houston-Galveston area after both World Wars contributed to Dickinson’s growth as well as the establishment of NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1962. By the 1970’s aggressive annexation by neighboring cities - League City and Texas City - began to encroach on Dickinson and its voters, after several failed attempts, voted to incorporate in 1977.
The City of Dickinson, Texas was incorporated in 1977. John Dickinson, a hero of the Texas Revolution, lived in this area in the 1830s long before the city was incorporated. In 1999, the city's population was estimated at 18,500 people.
Dickinson has been called "the best kept secret on the Gulf Coast" for its convenient proximity to major attractions. Dickinson is conveniently located on Interstate 45 and Dickinson Bayou between Houston and Galveston. The city is located 20 minutes from the beach.
Clear Lake Resort Area, Galveston Bay, the Johnson Space Center (NASA), as well as 3 major shopping malls are all within 10 miles. The community of Dickinson, extends well beyond the boundaries of the city limits and includes over 25,000 people, within the Dickinson school district.
Dickinson Bayou, a large navigable body of water, is lined by the largest stand of trees south of Houston, and as such, is readily discernible from the air. The Dickinson Bayou was once a dredged, industrial waterway, but now is a 20-foot deep recreational attraction for fishing, boating, swimming, and water-skiing.