Fair board approves facilities repairs

SHERIDAN — Members of the Sheridan County Fair Association Board of Trustees approved an emergency repair on the roof above the boardroom at their meeting Thursday.

Last week’s heavy snows caused approximately $3,000 worth of damage to the roof, including leakage into the ceiling of the boardroom. The repairs will be done in-house by Fairgrounds Director Jamie Ringley and his staff. The fix will not be a permanent solution but should get the building through the winter, board Chairman Steve Eliason said.

The board also approved spending $3,000 to install a sprinkler system in the grassy areas south of the grandstand and along the west, north and east sides of the pavillion.

“It will solve a lot of issues,” Capital Outlay Board member Brendon Kerns said. “I think overall it will make the place look nicer and greener.”

Ringley and his staff will do the work in-house this fall, if the weather cooperates, Ringley said. He estimates it will take about three days to complete.

In his director’s report, Ringley focused on plans for paving the parking lot between the exhibit hall and the pavilion, on the need to make improvements on the pavilion in the interest of historical preservation and on a prairie dog problem in the northeast pen of the fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds has received a State Loan and Investment Board grant for $140,000 that is earmarked for paving the parking lot between the exhibit hall and the pavilion. Rotomill will be purchased from the Wyoming Department of Transportation for approximately $30,000, and an independent contractor will need to be hired to design and install concrete drainage chutes to channel water off the lot.

“It just has to be done. They are the critical part, as well as making it so you are not ankle deep in mud when you get out to go to an auction, or an event, or dinner, or Biketober this Saturday,” Ringley said.

County Public Works Director Rod Liesinger is working on the project and hopes to have final estimates soon so that work can begin this fall, Ringley said.

At the SCFA meeting, board members discussed ways to turn the pavillion into a second year-round building, including installing radiant heat and resurfacing the floors. Ringley received an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 for new heaters and said Thursday that he will work on a business plan for the pavillion before pursuing such an investment.

In the meantime, Ringley hopes to complete smaller, less expensive projects for historical preservation of the pavillion which was built in 1939.

The board also discussed ways to deal with a prairie dog problem in the northeast pen of the fairgrounds and decided to approach Sheridan County Weed and Pest for assistance.

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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