It was one step forward and then one step backward in the state Senate today.
HB1019, the budget for the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, was amended to remove $1.67 million in funding for the purchase of ski resort near Walhalla which had been approved in the House. While that was a positive development – it’s inappropriate for the state government to own a private business like a ski resort – the Senate added to the bill through amendment an appropriation to purchase a marina at Lake Sakajawea state park.
You can watch the whole floor debate here, but Senator Joe Miller’s expression of exasperation at the irony of the Senate removing the ski slope but adding a marina is priceless (it’s worth noting that said ski slope is in Senator Miller’s district).
Senator Karen Krebsbach, the bill carrier, argued for the marina purchase by saying it was owned by an elderly couple who want to retire and that it was proper for the state to purchase it because it a) makes revenue and b) is important to the park (to be clear, the marina is on state land).
But if it’s a profitable business, why can’t some private entity run it?
It’s a sorry day when a state government – one run by Republicans, no less – is eager to buy up private businesses.
Update: Originally this posted sated the marina in question was at Fort Stevenson State Park. It’s really the marina at Lake Sakajawea State Park.