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Published December 14, 2012, 02:30 PM

Unknown Bidder Offers $530,000 for Former Safeguard Missile Complex in Nekoma, N.D.

The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex at Nekoma, N.D., has been sold for $530,000, but its fate is unknown. The Cavalier County Job Development Authority was not the winning bidder, Carol Goodman, executive director, confirmed this morning.

By: Kevin Bonham, Grand Forks Herald

The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex at Nekoma, N.D., has been sold for $530,000, but its fate is unknown.

The Cavalier County Job Development Authority was not the winning bidder, Carol Goodman, executive director, confirmed this morning.

The CCJDA has been developing plans for the property since 2006, with hopes of developing 431-acre property into a UAS research/business development park and Cold War History Interpretive Center, featuring:

• An unmanned aircraft system research, development and business park, specializing in nonmilitary applications.

• An education and training center for military, government and civil organizations.

• A historical interpretive center, which would focus on Cold War history and North Dakota’s role in the era.

“The CCJDA redevelopment plan has been designed to achieve a significant economic impact on the community and the region through job creation, construction and sale of goods and services, and the potential for increased population,” Goodman said in a prepared statement.

While the identity of the new owner is unknown at this time, she said, “CCJDA will continue work on their support for, and involvement in, the emerging UAS/UAV industry; their business development concept and the SRMSC historical component. They also are receptive to any future partnership opportunities with the new owner.”

CCJDA received a $600,000 appropriation from the North Dakota Legislature in 2011 to help with the acquisition and development of the property. It also received a $107, 000 federal Economic Development Administration grant, in cooperation with UND’s UAS Center for Excellence, for development of the UAS portion of the facility.

In addition, the agency received matching funds from the North Dakota Department of Commerce, as well as financial support from banks, utilities and other stakeholders in the region, according to Goodman.

The Safeguard ABM site, authorized by the 1972 agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union, once housed 100 ABM missiles, as well as an over-the-horizon radar detection system to track potential nuclear threats.

However, Congress cut off funding for the facility in October 1975, one day after it officially was placed in operation. It was shut down by February 1976, and all missiles were removed by 1977.

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