- Associated Press - Friday, September 4, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Burleigh County and Bismarck park boards are negotiating a contract that would turn over management of the county fairgrounds and several boat ramps to the city.

The Burleigh County Park Board approved drafting a contract for a management plan that could include the Steckel, Kneifel, Kimball Bottoms and McLean boat ramps, as well as Swenson Park below the University of Mary and the Missouri Valley Complex, The Bismarck Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1NRqVZb ).

County Commissioner Kathleen Jones said no final decision has been made.

Jones said she supports the move because Bismarck’s park district has been successful in running McDowell Dam for the Burleigh County Water Resource District. The management agreement would cost the county about $430,000.

“We haven’t approved the final county budget. We won’t do that until Sept. 24,” Jones said. “We’ll see what happens when the final budget is approved as to whether it is acceptable to the Bismarck Park Board.”

Greg Smith, operations manager of the city park district and city park administration, said he is unsure how the contract will affect the park district’s budget.

Smith said the park district staff has managed McDowell Dam for 30 years and there will need to be enough funding provided to hire more people so the city doesn’t fall behind in the standards for other park features it manages.

The contract proposal could come before the county commission as early as Sept. 24.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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