Letter to the Editor

I was born on the family ranch just outside of Killdeer, my children, grandchildren and soon to be great grandchildren will all have been on the high school rodeo team.

Years ago I was very involved with the Killdeer Mountain Saddle Club, not so much at this age. We’ve always gone to the Showdeo, 4H events, 4th of July rodeos, and more recently the Ranch Rodeo and the Kling Rodeo. As most of you know the Saddle Club maintains the rodeo grounds and produces these rodeos, it is the oldest Association in our community. Killdeer is the oldest Professional Rodeo in North Dakota. Round ups and rodeos were going on at Oakdale before Killdeer even existed. A few days ago I learned that the Cultural Center has been soliciting more like badgering the sponsors of the Saddle Club. They have successfully taken away more than half of the Saddle Club’s sponsorship funds nearly $65,000.00 per year. Because of this 2 7/8, the Dog House, and others no longer sponsor the Saddle Club. It’s hard to believe considering a few years ago the Saddle Club, I’m told generously donated $60,000.00 to the Cultural Center.

What’s wrong with this place? By the way what fools would design and spend tax payer’s money on a $3,200,000.00 gymnasium with no locker rooms, no shower, there isn’t even a closet for sports teams to change in. However it seems there is a huge commercial kitchen that only Terrald Bang the Chairman of the Board’s family, Cheryl Gartner Boyce has access to. Yep she’s the only person/ caterer in Dunn County that can use our community kitchen.

Not only did they break their promise to never tax our community, now they want more County taxes and a City sales tax, they say it would make Killdeer one of the highest taxed cities in all of North Dakota. How much more is this poorly designed and inefficient facility going to cost the tax payers of our community? Can we fix this thing or not? Could we remodel the kitchen, put in lcoker rooms and make the kitchen suitable for all the residents to use. Why can’t we bring our own food in like it was supposed to be?

Don’t you wonder why the board of directors, who no doubt all had good intentions at one time, broke every promise they made to us? They are absolutely destroying the Saddle Club, and dividing our community, it is questionable whether the Saddle Club will survive. The answer is simple it’s all about the money. Over a cup of coffee at Lil’s last week we found out the Cultural Centers Board of Director’s and others have their signatures on a mortgage/note at American State Bank. Why are our community’s taxes being used to finance and bailout their private investments, is this even legal? We would like to see them try to deny this. Maybe if we ask those with a personal investment in the Cultural Center to pay off the mess they’ve willfully create, then maybe the Saddle Club will survive another 100 years. Destroying the Saddle Club is the last straw, we the old timers of Dunn County felt we had to speak up, we believe many of you feel the same way.

Just some old Killdeer Cowboys

Jon Thomas

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2 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor

  1. As someone who just used the cultural center, I feel I must clear up some inaccuracies on your part. We just used the facility for a reception. We were allowed to bring our own food. Many people helped to make the food, it was even catered from other places too. Cheryl Gartner came down to make sure we had everything we needed, she was very helpful. We were told we could use any caterer we liked. Everything went very smoothly and the staff was more than accommodating. I was thankful to have this facility to use, and everyone there also thought it was a great place too.

  2. What this town really needs to focus on is less cows and rodeo and more new businesses and community events that focus on attracting and retaining young families. Otherwise, this town will die and become the next Dodge or Halliday.

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