Killdeer: Don’t move our rodeo groundsKILLDEER — About 80 residents filled the American Legion Hall here Wednesday evening and their message was loud and clear: They do not want their rodeo grounds moved.
KILLDEER — About 80 residents filled the American Legion Hall here Wednesday evening and their message was loud and clear: They do not want their rodeo grounds moved.
Annabelle Homes wants to develop the city-owned rodeo grounds into housing, said Tom Backritges, director of development for the company.
“What we’re trying to do is fill a need within the community,” he said.
Backritges said the rodeo grounds used to be on the edge of town, but now it’s toward the center. He suggested it be moved to a more rural setting.
However, residents strongly opposed the proposal.
“Most people are kind of surprised and don’t quite know what to make of it yet,” said resident Eric Kehr. “We feel we’re going to lose a historical, landmark property.”
Thorris Sandvick agreed.
“There’s enough history in that rodeo grounds to last a lifetime,” he said. “Do you throw history out the door? No.”
Kami Kling said the area south of the existing rodeo grounds, where Backritges suggested the grounds be moved to, is a flood plain.
Others wondered how the city could come up with funding to relocate it.
Backritges said Annabelle Homes could make a contribution that would help to fund the relocation.
He added relocating the rodeo grounds may be an opportunity to expand it.
“Size does not make it better,” said Randy Sandvick.
Backritges said the company likely won’t develop in Killdeer in any other place.
“We like this spot,” he added.
Tom Murphy said he is not opposed to Annabelle Homes developing in Killdeer.
“Everyone would love to have Annabelle Homes come in and build housing, but just don’t do it on top of the rodeo grounds,” Murphy said.
Backritges said the meeting was to encourage discussion about the proposal.
“I’m not moving forward until some discussion has taken place,” he added.
The meeting continued past press time.