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Water from fair association ­­to be reallocated

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County Fair Association voted to accept 14 shares of reallocated water from Whitney Benefits at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday. The water is a donation and will be used around the fairgrounds.

“That’s enough water for us to use for two years,” Board Chairman Steve Eliason said. “For Whitney Benefits to provide that to us is a tremendous gift.”

The 14 shares of water will apply retroactively to cover 2013, and will also be enough to cover watering needs in 2014.

In other business, Fairgrounds Director Jamie Ringley focused on updates and renovations fairgrounds staff hope to complete within the next year or two.

As discussed at the August meeting, the county commissioners have decided to help fund a water system upgrade on the eastern half of the fairgrounds’ water system to alleviate dust issues and ensure there is enough water pressure to service the heavily used stall areas.

Design and construction estimates for the upgrade came in at $461,233. The county will apply for a State Loan and Investment Board grant in the amount of $184,493.20, or 40 percent of the total estimated cost, and will pay for the remaining $276,739.80, with a combination of general fund money, a local loan and additional grants, Commissioner Mike Nickel said.­­

The county has located extra Roto-mill through the Wyoming Department of Transportation, which means the fairgrounds should be able to pave the exhibit hall parking lot this fall. County Administrative Director Renee Obermueller is currently working on pricing for the Roto-mill.

Members of the fair association discussed ways to improve the horse washing station to make it cleaner, more efficient and less slippery, as well as the possibility of making the pavillion a year-round facility that could be rented for special events.

The pavillion would need insulation, a heating system, a new floor and possibly new doors.

“I would like to see a business plan for the pavillion before there’s much more discussion on it,” board member Ed Johlman said, cautioning the board against tackling more projects than can be afforded in the budget.

“Right now, Rotomill is our big ticket item,” Eliason said.

The board agreed it would begin to look into funding options for upgrades to the pavillion.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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