Supporters of center want sales tax moneySupporters of a new activities center that would replace Dickinson State University’s football stadium are trying to snatch city sales tax money for an unnecessary luxury, the project’s critics say.
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — Supporters of a new activities center that would replace Dickinson State University’s football stadium are trying to snatch city sales tax money for an unnecessary luxury, the project’s critics say.
The Dickinson City Commission is hosting a presentation about the Badlands Activities Center on Monday to give backers a chance to make their case for getting $6 million in city sales tax money for construction.
Dickinson voters will have the ultimate say on whether the money is provided. The question is on the Nov. 4 ballot. It would not require an increase in the city sales tax rate.
The center would replace aging Whitney Stadium with a new, 4,000-seat football field with artificial turf, a new track, and more than 16,000 square feet of indoor multipurpose space.
Estimates say the project will cost $15 million. Its supporters say the money will be raised from public and private sources.
An opposition group called the Dickinson Watchdogs believes Dickinson State could renovate Whitney Stadium with money already been raised for the center, without dipping into city sales tax funds that can be used for other needs.
“This is not what they need. This is what they want. This is a luxury item they want,” said spokesman Tim Beaudoin. “We’re not saying, ‘Don’t build it.’ We’re saying, ‘Don’t use city funds.’”