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Fargo Park Board approves seeking bids for indoor sports complex – INFORUM

The park district’s foundation is still hoping to reach at least the 50% mark in donations to fund the $78.5 million project that features four indoor basketball or volleyball courts that could entertain tournaments, a full-size soccer field, walking track, multipurpose community space and administrative offices.

However, to try to save tax dollars, Finance Director Broc Lietz said in the past few weeks the park district staff developed a new funding model that should provide almost enough money for the project and a new Island Park pool.

The new model includes a renewed fundraising effort with larger companies and organizations but will also expand to residents who want to donate, as about $17 million more is needed to reach the 50/50 split.

The kickoff for the new fundraising push is expected later this month along with recognition of major donors.

Park Board members and district staff leaders, with a look of relief after working on trying to get the project to this point, said they were nervous about the district’s biggest undertaking but also excited.

The dream for the project actually goes back several years as residents in a survey suggested more indoor facilities for recreation because of the climate.

“I’m nervous and scared but I’m also excited to see what this can do for our community,” said Park Board President Vicki Dawson.

Park Board Commissioner Jerry Rostad compared it to the decision on building the Fargodome. He said when it was built in the early 1990s there were some people in favor and some opposed, but “look what it’s done for our community.”

“This is going to be an epic game-changer,” he said.

Park Board Commissioner Joe Deutsch said he favored the early bidding to save taxpayer money and pointed to how the North Dakota State University new basketball arena project was delayed as funds were being raised and how the construction costs increased at every step.

Lietz said the new financing model will serve as a “bridge” until additional private donations can be raised.

To date, about $78.6 million is accounted for with an added city property tax levy, private donations from major donors of about $23.5 million, and reserve funds set aside for the sports complex and the $16 million Island Park pool renovation.

To bring the total up to about $91 million that almost reaches what’s needed, Lietz said the staff has identified another $13.2 million through expected increased state aid, added park district revenue and lower operational expense by year’s end.

Lietrz added they reached that point without any additional tax implications, but another key will be seeking to reduce the burden on taxpayers with the fundraising effort.

Following the sport complex bids in January, it’s expected the new Island Park pool bid could be let in July with demolition starting in the fall. Meanwhile, the park will continue to operate the aging pool as-is this coming summer.

It was originally hoped that construction could start on the sports complex, which will sit on about 100 acres in far southwest Fargo, this coming spring and now that might be accomplished. The arena complex in a fast-developing area of the city is designed so additions such as outdoor fields and a hockey rink could be added.

Source: https://www.inforum.com/news/government-and-politics/7276046-Fargo-Park-Board-approves-seeking-bids-for-indoor-sports-complex

The park district’s foundation is still hoping to reach at least the 50% mark in donations to fund the $78.5 million project that features four indoor basketball or volleyball courts that could entertain tournaments, a full-size soccer field, walking track, multipurpose community space and administrative offices.

However, to try to save tax dollars, Finance Director Broc Lietz said in the past few weeks the park district staff developed a new funding model that should provide almost enough money for the project and a new Island Park pool.

The new model includes a renewed fundraising effort with…….

The park district’s foundation is still hoping to reach at least the 50% mark in donations to fund the $78.5 million project that features four indoor basketball or volleyball courts that could entertain tournaments, a full-size soccer field, walking track, multipurpose community space and administrative offices.

However, to try to save tax dollars, Finance Director Broc Lietz said in the past few weeks the park district staff developed a new funding model that should provide almost enough money for the project and a new Island Park pool.

The new model includes a renewed fundraising effort with…….

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