Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. approves $600,000 funding for Buffalo City Park project

17 Apr 2021


Written By: Keith Norman | 

The JSDC approved $600,000 for additional planning and design work for the Buffalo City Park project.

The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. gave preliminary authorization for spending $600,000 for work on a preliminary estimate and design of the Buffalo City Park.

The action came at a special meeting Friday morning of the JSDC Board of Directors. Final approval requires action by the Jamestown City Council and the Stutsman County Commission. Discussion by the board was held in a closed-door executive session with the motion and roll call vote taken during the open meeting.

"It is a homerun for Jamestown," said Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC. "Definitely an investment in the future."

The Buffalo City Park concept grew out of a study commissioned by Brian Lunde in the fall of 2019 after the city of Jamestown had taken control of the Frontier Village. His intent at the time was to place the Frontier Village and World's Largest Buffalo monument on the map as national attractions.

A concept prepared by Apogee Attractions visualized an entertainment, cultural and educational experience built around the theme of the American Bison. The preliminary plans included an amphitheater, museums, rides and cultural educational opportunities.

The money approved by the JSDC Friday would be used for Apogee to continue the development process with the intent of seeking up to $60 million in financing through the Legacy Infrastructure Fund. This fund has a goal of investing 10% of the roughly $8 billion in the Legacy Fund in projects based in North Dakota.

A portion of the $600,000 will also be used to determine what changes would need to be made to Jamestown infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer to support the project.

This funding does not address the local $5 million match required for a proposed $5 million grant that is included in the current appropriations bill for the North Dakota Department of Commerce under consideration by the Legislature. More information on that is available in the Saturday, April 17, edition of The Jamestown Sun as well as online at that time.

Early projections for the Buffalo City Park estimate the park could draw about 250,000 visitors to Jamestown by its third year of operation.

The vote by the JSDC Board of Directors was unanimous.

Marlee Siewert, president of the board, called it a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

"Why not in Jamestown," she said.

Lunde thanked the leadership of the JSDC and the community.

"I'm grateful the leadership sees the opportunity that exists here," he said.