Tuesday, July 24

Donors reluctant to buy missile silo

For seven years the Historical Society of North Dakota has fought to preserve that state's last Minuteman missile launch complex, hoping to open it as a Cold War tourist attraction.

The Air Force owns the property, and they've said they will demolish the silo and control building by the end of the year unless the State Historical Society takes possession of the property.

The Historical Society lost a vote for funding from the North Dakota House of Representatives in February 2007. Then, Merl Paaverud, director of the State Historical Society said, "something happened."

That something was a provision, inserted into the funding bill, that specified that if the missile complex were saved, it would be grandly renamed the “Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Missile Silo Historic Site.” The House of Representatives -- which is almost two-thirds Republican -- reconsidered the bill in late April, and approved it.
Unfortunately, there haven't been a lot of individual donors to step forward.

The society has a half-million dollars of federal and state grants in hand. But the society needs to raise a million dollars for the project, and private money has been slow coming in. Paaverud told the Associated Press that fundraising is still 450-thousand-dollars short.

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