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Frontier Village keeps wage increases

The Frontier Village Association approved keeping wage increases for the village’s staff Thursday, despite not getting the full grant amount from the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation.

The association approved keeping its total staffing budget amount for the 2014 season at $40,558.17. The association will review how the budget is doing in July and could change the wages depending on the results.

At its meeting in February, the association approved the staffing budget and submitted a grant request to the BCTF for full funding. The BCTF Executive Board approved $35,000 for staffing. Association President Charlie Tanata said Thursday the association has $20,000 in the reserve from last year and could use $5,000 of that to cover the difference in the staff funding request.

The association also needs about $6,000 to finish two wooden towers at the front gate entrance to the village, and another $2,000 to pay Karen George, the woman who runs the stagecoach ride, for extra hours to run the ride this summer. Altogether these unanticipated expenses are $14,000.

Tanata said with the $20,000 surplus, the association can cover these expenses. Association members agreed, but weren’t sure if the association should spend a significant portion of that $20,000 in one year. Tanata said it has taken the association a few years to build up the $20,000 reserve.

BCTF Executive Director Searle Swedlund said the association needs to find a way to “sell” to the BCTF Executive Board the idea that the increased wages are being used to bring more visitors into the Frontier Village, thus benefitting all of Jamestown’s tourism businesses.

“Slow them (the visitors) down,” he said. “You have buildings here that each have a unique feature in them. Find something in each building that the visitors can explore.”

In other business, the association approved a request from the Wild West Players for $350 to buy ammunition and break-a-way bottles. The items are used by the Wild West Players in shows at the Frontier Village during the summer.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454