Finally issue will go to court

No one should be surprised that the long-running dispute between the North?Dakota State Fair Association and the Ward County Historical Society will finally be settled in court, beginning with a Feb. 3 hearing.

The State Fair Association last week served the Historicial Society with an eviction notice, after earlier giving the organization until Jan. 13 to remove everything except one building from the Pioneer Village. The society maintains it has a valid contract from 1966 that allows it to operate the museum and accompanying village on the State Fairgrounds.

The fair’s complaint filed in district court this week asks that the Historical Society immediately remove all buildings except its original building from the fairgrounds at its own expense. The complaint also says that if the buildings are not removed by the Historical Society, the State Fair seeks authorization remove them at the society’s expense. The Historical Society has not filed its response to the complaint in North Central District Court.

We’re pretty sure we know what at least part of the society’s response will be:?We have a valid contract, and we have no intentions of removing any building from the historical village. The organization has neither the means nor the financial standing to accomplish the task of removing all the buildings except one, even if members wanted to, an idea the society’s members firmly oppose. Unfortunately, the days of negotiations between members of the Ward County Historical Society and the North Dakota State Fair Association over a table are long gone. The issue is essentially a disagreement over a contract for use of land, and it needs to be settled once and for all in court.