HPCC funding discussed at capitolBISMARCK — Killdeer residents, area leaders, representatives and senators showed up at the state capitol Friday to support a bill that could provide $2 million toward the creation of the Killdeer High Plains Cultural Center.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Killdeer residents, area leaders, representatives and senators showed up at the state capitol Friday to support a bill that could provide $2 million toward the creation of the Killdeer High Plains Cultural Center.
Funds for Phase I of the campaign are to be used to build a multipurpose room, “Plaza for Western Cultures and Tourism,” a kitchen and concessions room, as well as storage and rest rooms. If the bill passes, the Dunn County Fair Association could receive the money as early as July 1.
Mike Kiedrowski, campaign fund development consultant for the center said so far $1.7 million has been raised in cash and pledges. The bill’s proposed $2 million would provide the $3 million needed to break ground on the first phase of the center, which is set to begin in late spring or early summer, he added.
“I think we touched on a lot of things that the Legislature can relate to,” said Kiedrowski of the hearing. “This center would provide a lot of benefits including tourism, education and culture preservation.”
About seven supporters provided testimony Friday including Richard McCallum, president of Dickinson State University.
“Dickinson State University is very proud to be part of the sponsoring group for this facility,” he said. “There is an educational component in the facility.
“As we look toward the future, this resource will be an important effigy for our overall effort. We’re also very interested in the cultural and historical dimensions of this proposed facility.”
The Political Subdivisions Committee heard testimony regarding the bill, which Reps. Frank Wald, Shirley Meyer and Mike Schatz along with Sens. George Nodland, Rich Wardner and John Warner introduced. The bill would appropriate the funds to the Department of Commerce to distribute to the Dunn County Fair Association, the group pursuing the center.
Wald introduced an amendment Friday which would allot the money out of the permanent oil and trust fund instead of out of the general fund.
“The reason for that is that Dunn County has contributed substantially to the permanent oil trust fund with the oil taxes that have been taken out of the county,” said Rep. Shirley Meyer. “I thought it was a good idea and supported that amendment.”
She added, it may the proposal easier to sell to the Legislature.”
Meyer said the amendment has to go to a sub-committee to be reviewed before the entire committee can make a decision. She estimates the status of the bill could be known as early as next week.
“I was surprised to see there wasn’t anyone there to oppose the bill. I have been receiving e-mails and phone calls and they do have legitimate questions,” Meyer said. “There is some opposition out there and their voices will be heard too. I think the positives really outweigh the negatives.”
Lynell and Thorris Sandvick, Killdeer, have supported the HPCC effort since its start in 2003. They drove from Killdeer to support the bill.
“We’ve got to get it built,” Sandvick joked, “I always say I want my funeral in that building!”