Amended museum bill passes Senate

Bill would provide some funds to relocate Pioneer Village to Burlington

The State House passed an amended bill by a vote of 42 to 4 on Monday that would provide funding for the relocation of the Ward County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village from the state fairgrounds to its new location in Burlington.

Sen. Karen Krebsbach, R-Minot, said the bill provides $150,000 from the state’s general fund for the museum. In addition, the North Dakota State Fair Association has agreed to give an additional $50,000 toward the relocation. It had already agreed to give $50,000 toward the relocation if all of the museum buildings are moved off the fairgrounds by June 15.

The latest version of the bill would require that the state historical society director certify that all of the buildings have been removed from the fairgrounds by June 15 before the funds can be awarded. The money would be awarded to the state historical society, which would give it in the form of a grant to the Ward County Historical Society.

Krebsbach had objected to an earlier version of the bill that would have directed the State Fair Association to give $100,000 from its operating fund. She said the state Legislature should not direct funds from a self-funded agency like the State Fair Association.

“The State Fair is granting it direct,” Krebsbach said on Monday. “We’re not ordering it.”

The House will also have to approve the amended version of the bill. Krebsbach said she believes a vote is scheduled for today.

The governor would also have to sign the bill into law.