At an information session for the Block 9 construction project held July 17th at the Fargo Theatre, Kilbourne Group's project manager, Keith Leier, repeatedly reiterated that they were working with a consultant to determine the best solution to the problem created by their 18-story, oversized, out-of-proportion building for quaint downtown Fargo.

The building will block Prairie Public Broadcasting's signal. I remember when PPB raised money from members to upgrade / build the signal tower next to their broadcasting headquarters in downtown Fargo. Members own the tower and PPB is a public good.

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But Kilbourne Group's president, Mike Allmendinger, was quoted in a July 18th Forum article as saying PPB doesn't own the airspace over the US Bank building and, "With that in mind, he suggested Prairie Public should have built its antenna somewhere else instead of taking the risk that some building would be constructed in its transmitters' lines of sight." This response is completely tone deaf, and what I consider to be a typical blame-the-victim stance in order to deflect away from the real source of the problem, which is an oversized, out-of-proportion construction project.

I know that Kilbourne is a "supporter of the arts" and other cultural aspects of our community that go beyond the vast amount of property that they own downtown. So, as a supporter of the arts and of the people of our community, Kilbourne Group along with its partner, RDO, need to make Prairie Public Broadcasting whole by fully paying for the fix to the problem that Block 9 is creating.

PPB and it's members should not have to pay a dime more than what they have already paid to build the tower. Furthermore, the solution needs to be created in full consultation with PPB. The Kilbourne Group take over of downtown needs some checks and balances (certainly the city of Fargo has not done their job in this regard). Now is the time for Kilbourne to put their self-interest aside in order to solve the problem that they created.

A young girl at the information session at the Fargo Theatre succinctly asked, "why do we need this building?"

Gold lives in Moorhead.