The North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation has outlined a series of infrastructure projects to be undertaken over the next three years, using nearly $16 million in federal coronavirus assistance.
Last year, the Legislative Assembly budgeted $17.9 million from the state’s US federal bailout for deferred maintenance and capital projects at state parks, amid high attendance increasing number of parks during the coronavirus pandemic.
North Dakota State Parks had a consecutive record year for camping nights in 2021: nearly 95,000 nights at campsites and cabins.
The parks have a deferred maintenance backlog of $74 million, including roads, buildings and shorelines.
The list of projects includes nearly $4.6 million in work to be tendered this year. The year of submission does not necessarily indicate that construction will take place. But some projects are planned for this summer, such as utility projects.
Parks and Recreation is still waiting for more technical information and offers to come back and is factoring inflation into project prioritization, spokeswoman Kristin Byram said.
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Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, south of Mandan, has $440,000 worth of projects put out to tender this year, including general maintenance, campground electrical upgrades and an accessible sidewalk to connect all the structures of Cavalry Square.
Projects to be tendered next year at the park – North Dakota’s oldest – include $260,000 for work on earth lodges in its On-a-Slant village and $800,000 for an upgrade to the water system.
Park manager Erik Dietrich said the water upgrade will increase the capacity of the busy park and the electric upgrade will follow the systems of larger campers.
Cross Ranch State Park, near Washburn, has $175,000 worth of projects to bid on this year, including work on the Art Link Cabin and general maintenance.
The two biggest projects to be tendered in 2022 are $800,000 for a maintenance shop and seasonal housing at Sully Creek State Park near Medora, and $728,000 to upgrade electrical panels and fixtures. hydrants at two campgrounds in Grahams Island State Park on Devils Lake.
Sully Creek State Park is slated for more than $1.5 million in projects to be tendered this year — the most of any park — including $400,000 for the construction of a park manager’s house and 300 $000 for site preparation for future buildings.
All parks are set for $100,000 in general upkeep, with most of the work done this year.
The list of projects leaves nearly $2 million unspent. Federal aid must be valued by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026.
“We have a slate of projects for the extra money, but we’re waiting to see what inflation does to the projects we already tendered” last fall, Byram said.
“In addition, we are always looking for additional sources of funding for our projects, such as grant opportunities, which allows us to complete more projects on our slate and make the best use of the resources given to us,” she said.
Contact Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or [email protected]