'The Foundation will still exist'
By Cheryl McCormack
"This is a good thing. This is exactly what we wanted to happen."
President David Borlaug, Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, expressed his approval of the state's recent decision to take over the operations of the Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center, as well as the Fort Mandan historical site, both located in Washburn.
Last Thursday, members of the Education and Environment Division of the House Appropriations Committee approved a proposed amendment to Senate bill 2019, the parks and recreation budget.
The amendment was approved by a 7-1 committee vote and will allow for $3 million to be spent on taking over the Interpretative Center and its assets from the Foundation.
Earlier this year, the Foundation approached the governor's office and officials with North Dakota's state parks about assuming the operations of the facility so the Foundation could focus on their true mission. According to Borlaug, that mission is "supporting the facility through acquisition of artifacts, art and literature."
"We are gratified that the state has agreed to take over operations (including all buildings, land, art and artifacts) and pay off the remaining debt (approximately $2 million) on our most recent expansion project," Borlaug said.