FARGO - The Fargo Park Board on Tuesday gave the green light to making the Dike West sledding hill turn white.

City Commissioner Brad Wimmer got the snowball rolling with an idea that formed while watching crews make snow at the Buffalo River Race Park near Glyndon, Minn.

Wimmer, who lives near the Dike West sledding hill across Fourth Street South from Fargo's Island Park, said he was disappointed for area children during the often-brown 2011-12 winter.

He approached Kevin Nathe, who operates the Glyndon race park, and Nathe agreed to put his snow-making machines to work at Dike West.

Nathe could start making snow this week, Wimmer told park board members Tuesday.

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The pilot program is expected to cost about $6,000, and it will be paid for primarily through private donations, according to Wimmer, who suggested to park board members that if the experiment is successful they might want to make room in future budgets for snow making.

"I think that would be a natural next step," Wimmer said.

Park officials said the sledding hill has experienced brown winters in the past, particularly in the 1980s, when conditions were drier.

The sledding hill was closed about 50 percent of the time last winter, officials said.

Wimmer said Nathe plans to make snow at the base of the dike and push it up the slope to create a sledding surface.

Once a base is established, the snow cover should survive fairly warm temperatures, he said.

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