Despite months of discussion, offers and counter-offers, the dispute between the North Dakota State Fair Board and the Ward County Historical Society seems destined to end up in court.
The Fair Board met Tuesday and rejected a proposal from the society to essentially relocate the buildings of the Pioneer Village into a straight line along the Souris River a short distance from where the buildings currently sit. The board was also notified that the Historical Society had rejected a deal that would have relocated Pioneer Village to land near the Minot Air Museum in north Minot or to land owned by the Minot Park District just north of Roosevelt Park.
In other words, not much has changed in the ongoing dispute. The Fair Board maintains it has the right to use the land where the village sits as it sees fit, and that means moving the entire village off the fairgrounds to make way for an eventual new building and altered road. The Historical Society is firm in its belief that a 1966 agreement allows the village to remain in its current location.
At its core, the disagreement is a legal dispute over the terms of a 1966 contract. Both sides have shown some willingness to listen to offers and counter-offers, but neither side has budged from their original position. It's unfortunate that a compromise of some sort couldn't be worked out, but the two entities are clearly at a stalemate and the issue will only be resolved in a court of law.