FVA seeks city’s help: Asks committee to overrule BCTFThe manager’s position at the Frontier Village may be the topic of a special meeting of the Jamestown City Council next week. Charlie Tanata, president of the Frontier Village Association, asked the Finance and Legal Committee to restore funding for the position during its regular meeting Wednesday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The manager’s position at the Frontier Village may be the topic of a special meeting of the Jamestown City Council next week. Charlie Tanata, president of the Frontier Village Association, asked the Finance and Legal Committee to restore funding for the position during its regular meeting Wednesday.
“We were cut short on funding for our manager,” Tanata said. “We are all happy with the manager we have. The board members, the greeters and construction people that work on the upkeep all agree and we’re asking for your help.”
Funding for the operation of Frontier Village largely comes from grants from Buffalo City Tourism Foundation. BCTF agreed at its meeting Friday to fund the greeters and maintenance but refused to fund the manager’s position.
Disagreements among the FVA board members led to the resignation of a majority of the board in November 2011. The board added members and elected new officers but still got a no-confidence vote from BCTF on Dec. 16, 2011.
BCTF then paid for a financial review of FVA. A report that found moderate risk of fraud was reviewed by BCTF on April 20. Tanata said the issues raised by the review were being addressed by the board. At the same meeting BCTF refused to fund the manager’s position.
The manager’s position is part time during the tourist season with a budget of about $8,500. The position has been held by Tina Busche.
It was not clear to council members if they could act on the issue.
“Do we have the authority to step in if we feel this was done unfairly?” asked Mayor Katie Andersen.
She asked Ken Dalsted, city attorney, to look into the issue and suggested a special meeting could be held to deal with it.
During the Jan. 24 Finance and Legal Committee meeting BCTF presented its vote of no confidence in FVA and asked the city to take action. The committee declined, citing a lack of authority in the matter.
Tanata said City Council action was necessary.
“This is too big an issue to ignore,” he said.
In other business, the Finance and Legal Committee unanimously approved a request for $65,000 for the greenhouse project now known as Endless Harvest. The money is to be used as a match to funding from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Committee and be used to operate a demonstration greenhouse in Grasston, Minn., for one year.
“This is the next step we need to take on the greenhouse,” said Connie Ova, CEO of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. “What we propose to do next is grow the lettuce and have a place up and running for investors to see the project.”
Ultimately, the plan is for a $10 million greenhouse growing lettuce in Jamestown. The project is currently attempting to recruit investors.
The Civic Center and Promotion Committee heard a complaint from Clyde Reister, owner of Reister Meats in Streeter.
Reister said the fees charged by the Civic Center were too high. Currently a food vendor at the Civic Center must pay a booth rent to the organization sponsoring the event and 15 percent of gross sales to the Civic Center.
“It’s not paying for us to turn a wheel,” Reister said. “We can’t continue coming here, it’s putting a toll on us.”
Pam Fosse, Civic Center director, said the booth rental is set by the event organizer and not paid to the Civic Center. The fee for sales goes to the Civic Center to reimburse the facility for not having its own concessions operating.
The committee took no action on the request.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com