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Dave Olson, Published November 09 2010

Moorhead City Council clarifies Trollwood naming rights

The Moorhead City Council on Monday formally handed over the right to name structures and spaces at the Trollwood Performing Arts School to the entity that manages the operational cost and debt incurred in the building of the project in south Moorhead.

In a memo to the city, Steve Wurzer, the president of FutureBuilders, said having authority to grant naming rights will help the organization raise funds to meet financial obligations.

“FutureBuilders will continue to consult the Moorhead city manager and Fargo Public Schools superintendent for final approval of the naming of any structure or space at the site,” Wurzer wrote.

Before council members voted, several members said they did not fully understand the city’s relationship to Trollwood, which was moved from a flood-prone area of north Fargo to south Moorhead.

Council member Nancy Otto said Moorhead is not on the hook financially in any way for Trollwood. She said that responsibility lies with FutureBuilders and the Fargo School District.

Moorhead City Attorney Brian Neugebauer said Moorhead owns the site and leases it to FutureBuilders as part of a contract for deed.

He said the arrangement was necessary for the approximately $11 million project to receive funding from the state of Minnesota.

FutureBuilders must come up with about $6 million of that cost, and it has made progress with donations and pledges, Neugebauer said, adding that the group’s ability to raise funds would be enhanced by giving it clear decision-making power when it came to selling naming rights to various features at the Trollwood site.

In other business, the council approved first reading of an ordinance setting fees for 2011.

Some council members said they wanted more information about proposed increases before the council votes on whether to give final approval to the proposed fees.

Also Monday, Mayor Mark Voxland proclaimed Nov. 8 as Dane Tvedt Recognition Day in honor of the 21-year-old Moorhead resident who collapsed and died in April as he rushed to help a 12-year-old boy who was burned in a grill explosion.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555