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Fair board not involved in fairgrounds land buy: Stark County Park members outline plans to build ‘Badlands Events Center’

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news Dickinson, 58602

Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

The Stark County Fair Association was not largely involved in the land purchase agreement for a $1.7 million land plot south of town for a future county fairgrounds.

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At the association’s meeting Wednesday, Stark County Park Board representatives Frank Klein and Pete Kuntz, who also sit on the Fair Association, detailed the agreement to buy about 87 acres of land about two-and-a-half miles down Highway 22.

Fair Association members asked basic questions, like which plot of land was purchased and what the timeline is of the project. Preliminary renderings for the “Badlands Events Center” include a public outdoor arena — a focus for the fair association — and also an indoor arena, an expo hall and more.

Fair Association Chairwoman Lee Ann Karsky said she wasn’t surprised at the land deal and was happy to have something on paper — she’s seen many failed attempts to secure land for the fairgrounds. The agreement comes after 25 years of planning.

“Now papers are signed,” she said.

Fair Association member Shelly Fleck said “it’s strange” the association wasn’t more involved.

“It should’ve been going through Lee Ann,” Fleck said. “She should be more aware.”

An in-the-works LLC is planned to run the facility.

According to the purchase agreement, the property will include “a fairgrounds and multi-purpose events complex” that will mutually benefit the park board, Dickinson State University, the DSU Alumni and Foundation, the DSU rodeo program, the Stark County Fair Association, the Roughrider Commission and others in southwestern North Dakota.

The land was purchased from Dean and Shirley Meyer. The money will come from existing county fair and park board funds that have accumulated from previous lands sales, Klein previously told The Press.

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