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$300K donated to ND governor’s residence

BISMARCK - The committee tasked with raising $1 million in private donations for the new North Dakota governor's residence announced $300,000 in corporate donations Wednesday and is closing in on the $500,000 needed before construction can begin.

BISMARCK – The committee tasked with raising $1 million in private donations for the new North Dakota governor’s residence announced $300,000 in corporate donations Wednesday and is closing in on the $500,000 needed before construction can begin.

Fargo-based Nodak Mutual Insurance and Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health will each donate $100,000, while Watford City-based First International Bank and Trust and Mandan-based Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will each contribute $50,000 to the construction effort, committee co-chair Jim Poolman said.

“These four corporations that have stepped up to the plate deserve enormous amounts of credits for giving back the way they have,” he said.

State lawmakers voted last spring to spend up to $4 million in public money on the new residence as long as $1 million in private funds can be raised. Poolman said the Friends of the North Dakota Governor’s Residence fundraising committee has raised about nearly $375,000 so far, and he hopes to announce within the next couple of weeks that they’ve secured the $500,000 required before construction can start.

In addition to the corporate donations, he said more than $20,000 in contributions has been received from donors across the state through the website www.friendsoftheresidence.com . He hopes to hit the $1 million mark during the first quarter of 2016.

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“I’m confident that we will get this done before significant progress is made on the building,” he said.

On Tuesday, the nine-member Capitol Grounds Planning Commission unanimously adopted a design concept for the home that consists of a one-story private residence facing Fourth Street connected to a two-story public space facing the Capitol mall, recognizing that minor design changes may be made.

The existing 55-year-old, one-story residence in the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds has issues with security, asbestos, a leaky flat roof and a lack of handicapped accessibility and will be demolished as part of the project.

Officials hope to have the new residence ready for the first family by Thanksgiving 2017.

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