Barbara J. Bethel, Minot
I also, like Clay Rein in the April 14 letters to the editor, do not understand the State Fair's objection to the Pioneer Village being at the fairgrounds. I would have thought it was an attraction, not a distraction. It is there 52 weeks a year, not just nine days out of the year. I understand that there are other activities at the fairground throughout the year. Even more reason to leave it where it is and assist in the survival, not the demise, of the Village.
There are a few questions I would like to ask the fair board:
(1) If they knew there were objections to the long term use of that land why did they not voice them after the flood and before thousands of FEMA funds, that cannot be used for anything but reconstruction and restoration, were spent to bring the Village back to almost its pre-flood beauty?
(2) Why did the fair board refuse permission for the "little red school house" to be moved onto the pre-poured slab? What did they think was happening there when concrete was being laid? Once again voicing objections when hard raised funds had been used!
(3) If the State Fair Board wants, so I have heard, to build a large convention center at the fairgrounds, where will it go? If the Village is in the way what about all the buildings north of it? Are all the old animal barns to go, too? I wonder what FFA and the North Dakota Extension Service would feel about that!
(4) If Minot wants a large Convention Center, why the Fairgrounds? I could not think of a more inaccessible or inconvenient place to build it. We know from the yearly accidents that both roads, south and east of the entrances, are literally death-traps. Why not build it north or south of congested Minot center, where most of the hotels and motels are situated?
If Minot is to be the 'visitor friendly' town the Chamber of Commerce wants, then let's preserve our pioneer roots and keep the Village open and move the school house on the site prepared. In time for this year's tourist season.
Speak up Minot and do not let a board that is not from Minot or Ward County make decisions that affect our town and county forever.