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Dunn County commissioners to consider Killdeer sports complex request

Press Photo by Katherine Lymn Killdeer Public School Superintendent Gary Wilz discusses the need for renovations to the school’s sports complex on Oct. 31.

MANNING — Killdeer Public School representatives on Wednesday will again go before the Dunn County Commission in pursuit of funds for football field and track renovations.

Meanwhile, the school board is considering giving an additional $150,000 — on top of $500,000 already committed — to the nearly $2 million Cowboy Sports Complex project.

That development came after the committee asked the board to consider committing another $600,000 for a total of $1.1 million. Spurred by this request, the school board met last Tuesday evening to discuss its budget.

“I understand there’s other needs besides ours … so that’s why they had this special meeting,” fundraising committee head Suzi Tuhy said.

At the meeting, where no official action was taken, board members concluded they would consider giving up to an additional $150,000.

“We were just taking a look at those to see how much more we could possibly contribute to the athletic facility,” Superintendent Gary Wilz said.

He said when considering other short- and long-term projected needs associated with oil boom growth, the board came up with the $150,000 figure.

“I’m hoping that that improves but I usually don’t have a lot of comfort for how we’re gonna finish the budget until about March time,” he said.

Construction would have to begin early next year to be done in time for 2014 football season.

Tuhy and Wilz originally went to the Oct. 16 commission meeting to ask for funding help. That day, commissioners said they needed more information and would respond at Wednesday’s meeting.

Commissioner Donna Scott said Monday that she didn’t know whether commissioners would make a decision at the meeting Wednesday. They could table the request again.

“We’re looking to the committee to bring us the information we need,” she said.

Tuhy said the committee may bring some kids from the school to the meeting.

The school wants to replace the field grass with turf, upgrade lighting, improve the stands and concessions, and more.

In its current condition, the track is dangerously cracked, the concession stand doesn’t have running water and the football field, where rocks have tripped players, has poor drainage.

Fundraisers and school officials say the renovated track would benefit the entire community.

The school has explored other options for a new field, but with high real estate costs in the area, renovating the existing site is the most cost-effective option, Wilz said earlier this fall.

The fundraising committee has also raised more than $40,000 privately, including a couple large sums from oil companies in the area.