Dispute Continues Over Pioneer Village - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Dispute Continues Over Pioneer Village

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The land dispute between the North Dakota Sate Fair Board and the Ward County Historical Society continues over the future of Pioneer Village.

They share the same piece of land and sit next to each, but the North Dakota State Fair Board and the Ward County Historical Society have two different views about where Pioneer Village should be.

"Officially, it's been going on for about a year," says Bruce Brooks, Ward County Historical Society Treasurer.  "The State Fair apparently has some plans to enlarge, or to do something like that, and they would like us not to be where we are at.  We feel we have a legal right to be there."

After months of discussions to try to move forward with a resolution about a possible Pioneer Village relocation, the Ward County Historical Society and the North Dakota State Fair Board were not able to reach an agreement.

"If we had to move to a place that wasn't easy to get to that other people were coming to, then we would almost get no visitors and our history and culture would go away," says Brooks. 

The State Fair Board says they have negotiated with the Ward County Historical Society in good faith to facilitate Ward County Historical Society's relocation from the Fairground's property. 

KMOT contacted the State Fair Board Monday, but they declined an interview due to legal issues.  We were referred to their attorney Peter Hankla.  He says this letter says it all, which was sent to Pioneer Village in December.

The letter states Pioneer Village must leave or the North Dakota State Fair Board will release an eviction notice.  The Board also says they must remove all of their personal property, fixtures and buildings from the Fairground's property by or before January 13, 2014.

"So, today's the 13 of January.  We haven't started to move and we don't intend to.  So, obviously, it's going to end up in court," says Brooks. 

Since the Fair Board found their resolutions to be unsuccessful, they feel they have been left no choice other than to pursue the course of action for termination.

KMOT did speak with the State Fair Board attorney on the phone today. He says they will continue to follow the timeframe's referenced in the Notice of Termination letter given to Pioneer Village in December.

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