Dickinson County is a hub for businesses in the manufacturing, agriculture and distribution industries, in part, due to its robust infrastructure. The county continues to invest in this key asset, ensuring that the local infrastructure will continue to support business and economic growth.
Transportation and Access
Dickinson County, Kansas provides businesses with a variety of ways to transport raw materials, finished products and personnel. While Kansas itself is centrally located within the United States, Dickinson County offers additional advantages. This includes immediate access to I-70, rail access and two regional airports located less than 45-minutes from Abilene.
Interstate 70 is a major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States that runs from I-15 near Cove Fort, Utah, to I-695 near Baltimore, Maryland. I-70 approximately traces the path of U.S. Route 40 east of the Rocky Mountains. West of the Rockies, the route of I-70 was derived from multiple sources, providing easy connectivity to the Western United States. Those traveling on I-70 in Kansas can easily reach I-35 as well, providing connections to other parts of the state.
The Union Pacific Railroad provides transportation services for businesses located within Dickinson County. The Union Pacific Railroad Herington Yard is a cultural feature.
Historically, the Union Pacific Railroad was an important contributor to the community’s growth. When the Union Pacific Overland Depot in Abilene was no longer being used, the community lobbied to transform it into the Abilene Tourist Information Center. It was built in 1928 and carries additional significance as future president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, departed Abilene from this site in 1911, for West Point and his future military career.
Dickinson County provides several options for air transportation. Regionally, the Manhattan Regional Airport is only 40-minutes away and offers flights to Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth, where travelers can reach any destination domestic or international destination. Travelers flying in and out of Manhattan Regional Airport benefit from easy access, low traffic, easy parking, access to car rentals and the amenities offered by a modern, state-of-the-art airport.
Just 34-minutes away, the Salina Airport Authority is used by passengers, government entities, and businesses. Passengers can fly direct to Chicago and Denver, and then on to domestic and international destinations. Parking is always free at the airport, TSA lines are short, and airport employees are friendly.
In May through September, the airport will host aircraft and personnel deployments by NOAA, NASA and the U.S. military, creating a $3.8 million impact on the local economy. Additionally, the Airport's world-class FBO, Avflight Salina, annually delivers aviation fuel to thousands of business jets and military aircraft. This has earned Salina the moniker, "America's Fuel Stop." The air traffic control tower is busy during the year with aircraft operations exceeding 90,000.
Kansas has some of the lowest utility rates in the country. As a state, Kansas possesses a built-in advantage. With one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, Kansas is among the nation’s leading producers of natural gas. Our statewide power costs remain competitive with the national average for every major customer group. Kansas’ competitive electricity rates are partially due to close proximity to the low-sulfur coal fields of Wyoming, resulting in low transportation costs. The majority of electric power generated in Kansas comes from such coal.
Alternative Energy Sources
Energy is also derived from alternative sources such as solar and wind, two natural assets Kansas has in abundance.