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Published August 24, 2010, 12:00 AM

Log cabin’s future remains in limbo after Moorhead council tables decision

After an inconclusive vote Monday night, the Moorhead City Council tabled making a final decision on whether to move a historic log cabin from one city park to another.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

After an inconclusive vote Monday night, the Moorhead City Council tabled making a final decision on whether to move a historic log cabin from one city park to another.

The move to table came after the council voted 4-3 in favor of moving the cabin from Woodlawn Park to Memorial Park, a step endorsed by city staff and the Moorhead Parks Advisory Board.

However, at least five votes were needed for the motion to pass.

The council then voted to reconsider the issue and table it until the full board could be involved.

Voting in favor of moving the cabin were Nancy Otto, Dan Hunt, Brenda Elmer and Mark Hintermeyer.

Voting against moving the cabin were Luther Stueland, Diane Wray Williams and Mark Altenburg.

Council Member Greg Lemke was absent.

The council also tabled making a decision on whether to spend about $72,000 on improvements to Woodlawn Park.

Repeated flooding of the cabin located on the east edge of Woodlawn has left the structure unstable, and it has been closed to most activities for several years.

For about $25,000, the foundation could be stabilized, and the structure could remain where it is.

Moving the cabin would cost about $96,000, with the expense covered by state funds.

Residents of the Woodlawn Park neighborhood who spoke at Monday’s meeting said nothing would be gained by moving the cabin, but Woodlawn would lose something precious.

City staff have said the move would reduce the chances of the cabin flooding again and promote activities by placing the cabin closer to restroom facilities and running water.

The cabin has been moved several times since it was built around 1859 as a stagecoach stop along the Red River in north Moorhead.

It has been at its present spot since the 1930s.

In other action Monday, the council approved modifying the city’s Code Red phone alert system to allow residents to sign up to be notified with a phone call when threatening weather approaches.

People will have the option of getting a call when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued for the area, or they may limit the criteria to receive only tornado warnings, according to Moorhead Fire Chief Joel Hewitt.

Several council members said they would also like to expand the number of warning sirens in the city to increase the chances people who are indoors will hear the sirens when they sound.

Moorhead currently has a dozen sirens. Additional sirens would cost about $25,000 each.

Officials said the degree to which the system might be expanded will be discussed at a future meeting.


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

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