The Hill County fair board Tuesday told the Hi-Line Horsemen’s Association to bring the bill for repairing a water line break at the Bigger Better Barn to next month’s meeting so it can consider sharing the cost of repairs.
Association members told the board that they were told by fairgrounds manager Tim Solomon to bring their request that the county pay for the repairs to the board.
Solomon reported earlier in the meeting that the water line had broken after a breaker was accidentally turned off, shutting down the heater he runs in the barn’s kitchen to keep the water from freezing.
Alayne Bickford, member of the Horsemen’s Association that rents the barn during the winter, said the problem has come up in past years, and if the building was properly winterized the problem never would have happened.
She said the association has tried to make sure the building is locked up and nothing would happen to freeze the water line.
“But yet we’re still having to deal with it, and the Horsemen’s Association is getting stuck having to pay that all the time,” she said, adding that the group just wants the lines shut down and flushed.
“If it’s not being done correctly, then we should not be responsible for having to pay that bill,” she said.
Solomon, who is also mayor of Havre, said he has tried to find out from the Havre water department in past years where the valve is to shut off the water, but it never was shown to him until the recent break.
“I didn’t know the valve was outside, or it would have been shut off,” he said.
Horsemen’s Association member Clint Solomon, after board chair Bert Corcoran said to work it out with Tim Solomon, said Tim Solomon said to bring it to the board, so that was what they were doing. He said he just wants to see things work better.
At his urging, board member Chad Murnin earlier had moved to amend the minutes from the board’s January meeting to include Clint Solomon’s request the board replace Tim Solomon as fairgrounds manager, which had been omitted from the minutes
“All the stuff that was said, you guys brush under the rug or whatever and try to act like everything’s fine,” Clint Solomon said. “We’re making a point that we’re having troubles with stuff up there and we want to get things right and we … want our voices heard. We don’t want to just brush it under the rug.”
Board member Mike Arnold said, since the fair manager had not turned off the water and someone from the association turned off the breaker, that maybe the expense should be shared.
“There’s a little bit of responsibility on both sides,” he said.