WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 03, 2012, 06:10 PM

Questions arise over Trollwood/Bluestem center

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The city of Moorhead and the Fargo School District are at odds over Trollwood.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The city of Moorhead and the Fargo School District are at odds over Trollwood.

In August, Fargo Schools took over running Bluestem. The center is the home of the district's Trollwood Performing Art School.

Now, the city of Moorhead, which owns the facility, is worried it'll be saddled with some of the costs.

The property just south and west of the Bluestem Center which is used for overflow parking and was to be the site of future buildings was in a bonded sale with the Bluestem nonprofit which was running the facility. Now that they are dissolving, Moorhead wants to know who is going to pay for the portion of special assessments assigned to the property for the roads and other improvements that were built for the center.

Mark Hintermeyer, Moorhead City Councilman: “The contract for deed is for 50 acres and the contract has that come back to Moorhead upon Bluestem being dissolved. That would trigger about an $800,000 bill.”

Jim Johnson, Fargo School Board President: “I don't believe at this point in time we believe we have a need for this additional property.”

School board President Jim Johnson says the district will pay the specials associated with the buildings, and technically all the buildings and grounds are property of Moorhead as part the $5.5 million the state of Minnesota put in for a regional arts center.

Even here there is some confusion as Moorhead documents seem to indicate that part of one of the building is on the 50 acres in question.

One of the ways Fargo Public Schools is looking at financing the Bluestem Center is by selling the naming rights to it, but event that would have financial implications for Moorhead as numerous highway signs would have to be changed.

Hintermeyer: “When we entered this several years ago we wanted to facilitate the development of Trollwood and as you can see this whole project is gorgeous out here and thought of it as an enormous benefit to the region.”

And on this point the Fargo School Board Agrees.

Johnson: “We fully believe that center has to be used as a regional performing arts center.”

Moorhead officials say they've paid more than $1 million in flood protection, that's not included in the specials. Moorhead put off a vote at tonight's council meeting to give the Fargo School board more time to review a response to the issue.