Fundraisers call for landscaping at governor’s mansion
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Organizers of North Dakota’s new governor’s mansion are considering a second fundraising campaign to cover landscaping costs after falling $113,000 short of their initial goal.
State lawmakers in 2015 approved up to $5 million in spending on the new governor’s residence, designating $4 million to come from the Capitol Building Trust Fund and $1 million from private donations. The Friends of the Governor’s Residence fundraised $887,000, narrowly missing their goal, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The group’s fundraising coupled with the $4 million in state money covered constructing the new residence and demolishing the former. But the funding didn’t cover landscaping costs.
Andrea Nelson, the group’s treasurer, said that the organization hopes to get information over the next six months on the costs and timeline to add landscaping to the residence.
The Capitol Grounds Planning Commission has received three landscaping conceptual drawings for the estate, based on the original Capitol master landscaping plan from 1920, said John Boyle, the commission’s director of facility management.
“It’s a magnificent residence but all they really have over there is grass,” Boyle said. “The house deserves something of that quality of landscaping.”
The group will need legislative approval if fundraising exceeds the $113,000 remaining on the appropriation, said John Bjornson, director of the Legislative Council.
Democratic Rep. Pamela Anderson of Fargo said she’s optimistic that the organization would be able to raise more money for landscaping. Anderson supports having an outdoor space at the residence where visiting students could dine.
“It’s really pretty in (the residence),” Anderson said. “I think with the landscaping, the citizens of North Dakota will have something to enjoy and be very proud of.”
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com