Mandan News

Mandan course to get cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is coming to the Municipal Golf Course course in Mandan.

The Mandan Park Board on last Monday approved paying for tracks and a groomer through a $6,600 state Parks and Recreation grant. The park district will pay another $23,000 for an ATV and other equipment to create the trails.

Park space
The park board objected to using special tax districts to pay for new park space as Bismarck is proposing. It directed Parks and Recreation Director Cole Higlin to study a new concept that requires developers to donate land to benefit the whole community or pay a portion of the land’s value instead for park space needs.

City Planner Bob Decker’s draft plan would have a developer donate land for public safety, neighborhood schools, parks, playgrounds, open space, natural areas, trails or stormwater needs.

“The school and the city can now be part of the land dedication,” Higlin said. “We have to decide the best need of the land. We have to develop some kind of trustee board to govern this.”

The developer’s other option would be to pay the park district 7 percent of the new development land’s value.

Park board members said they sensed that after the controversial’ annexation of 878 acres north of the Mandan Middle School, residents are not interested in new park special assessment taxes. Higlin said the 30-year-old system for park acquisition now is inadequate to pay for park space. It charges only a $100 fee for each new development.

Fast pitch field
At Higlin’s request, the park board transferred $350,000 intended for a fast pitch ballpark from west of Faris Field to make a ballpark planned for the future Red Trail Elementary School. Higlin explained the school district wants to make the fast pitch field a competitive one.

The loss of 50 parking spots near Faris Field was another school district concern. Higlin said the school district and park district will negotiate how the park funds will be used for the north ballpark site.

Earlier meeting
The park board also wants public comment about possibly starting its meetings an hour earlier – from 5:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – on the second Monday of the month.

By LeAnn Eckroth, Lee News