The Burleigh County Park Board is considering selling its 2.5-acre Mitchell Lake park facility, located near Wing, citing it gets “very little use.”
County Commissioner Kathleen Jones estimates 42 people used the park in 2018 – a figure Wing resident Sanford Williams questioned at Monday night’s park board meeting.
“I am not a watch dog that sits over there and sees how many people go there but I know that I was there, personally, and there were 42 people between church services, my family was there five times. So I know the number is more than 42,” he said.
Last fall, the Mitchell Lake comfort stations had to be removed as they were full of garbage and could not be pumped. Jones said the vault toilets, which had been in place for more than 60 years, had never been cleaned.
The boat ramp remains, although the North Dakota Game and Fish Department quit stocking the lake with fish in 2012 due to the quality of the water, according to Jones.
“Mitchell Lake has cost the county approximately $4,500 a year without the boat ramp,” she said, noting $10,000 was spent on the property in 2018 including repairs. “Forty to 50 to 100 people using it, I have a hard time justifying the taxpayers’ dollars for spending.”
Williams says the park is beneficial to “a lot” of northern Burleigh County residents, as well as people who travel to the area from Bismarck for recreation.
“We don’t have any water access in the north end of Burleigh County other than this little spot,” he said. “If there’s anything we can do to keep it as it is, it would be very much appreciated.”
The park board took no action and agreed to continue the discussion at a future meeting to allow Williams time to address the local township board, which might have the option of taking over ownership of the facility.