N.D. lawmakers seek AG's opinion on aquatic park

Chris Rizo Apr. 19, 2008, 12:33pm

Wayne Stenehjem

BISMARCK, N.D. (Legal Newsline)-North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has been asked by three state lawmakers to offer a legal opinion on the bidding process to build an aquatic park at Bismarck State College.

The Streamline Foundation -a private nonprofit organization- wants to build the center for an estimated $8.1 million and lease it back to the city park district over the next 20 years, according to documents.

The request comes amid concerns that the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District's agreement with the Streamline Foundation might be illegal.

Local Republican state Reps. Dwight Wrangham, Lisa Meier and Mark Dosch requested the attorney general's opinion, the Bismarck Tribune reported Saturday.

Specifically, the lawmakers are asking whether the park district's agreement with the foundation skirts a state law requiring competitive bidding.

Pat Ward, an attorney for the park's department, has said state law allows a public authority to enter into private contracts for infrastructure development.

"The way the questions are presented, it skews the situation, putting the cart before the horse," Ward was quoted as saying. "Do tenants build the building?"

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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