North Dakota budget to add $70 million line of credit for Roosevelt library

A line of credit has been added to the state parks’ budget bill to backstop initial construction costs at the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora. The Bismarck Tribune reports,

North Dakota’s state parks budget includes a $70 million line of credit from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota for the planned Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, a budget item one lawmaker says defies how the Legislature approved of the project and might leave taxpayers holding the bag.

The library has reportedly raised $100 million in cash toward its $300 million goal. The state had already pledged an additional $50 million toward an operating endowment for the library.

The Tribune quotes library CEO Ed O’Keefe as saying an expected $50 million pledge from the Walton (WalMart) family produced only $15 million.

With construction expected to begin in June, the $70 million line of credit is needed to support the expected $170 million initial construction cost.

The Tribune quotes two lawmakers who are skeptical of the need for, and the timing of, additional state support.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum was on Fox News discussing plans for the library in a TV interview last month. Burgum speculated that the library will eventually be the most-visited Presidential library in America.

In the Fox interview, Burgum mentioned a figure of $200 million in total fundraising so far, but it appears that only half that amount has yet materialized as cash-on-hand to support construction.

As we previously discussed, it seems inevitable that this project will require state support, either for infrastructure buildout, construction costs, or both.

Quoting the Tribune,

Library CEO Ed O’Keefe said the library’s earth and foundation work begins in June. The library hasn’t disclosed its fundraising thus far.

Perhaps it’s time for some more disclosure. Opening day is still set for July 4, 2026.