Historical Society served with eviction notice

The Ward County Historical Society was officially served with an eviction notice by the North Dakota State Fair, said historical society treasurer Bruce Brooks in an e-mail on Friday.

Brooks said Debra Hoffarth, the lawyer for the historical society, was served. Hoffarth, of the Pringle and Herigstad Law Firm in Minot, could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday. Hoffarth said earlier in the week that any dispute would be heard in Northwest District Court.

Last month, the historical society was given until Jan. 13 to remove most of the buildings in its Pioneer Village from the fairgrounds, but has refused to do so. The historical society board contends that they are under no obligation to move, under the terms of a 1966 contract.

The fairgrounds itself is owned by the state and the State Fair receives money from the state. The State Fair Association, which was created in 1965, has exclusive rights to operate the State Fair.

The State Fair Board, which administers the State Fair for the State Fair Association, wants the Pioneer Village off the fairgrounds so the land can be used for future growth and for its current needs. Longterm, the State Fair Board’s master plan includes a plan to eventually build a large events center on the fairgrounds in the location where the exposition and dairy barns, Jaycees Building and 4H building are currently situated. Such a convention center would be attached to the current State Fair Center. The Fair Board also wants to relocate the road that currently runs by the Pioneer Village Museum on the fairgrounds, which would require moving the museum off the fairgrounds. However, there are no immediate plans to build such a convention center. The Fair Association is represented by attorney Peter Hankla.