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Fair board talks repair, revenue and insurance money


October 18, 2017

Tuesday night’s Great Northern Fair Board meeting included talk about replacing a Bigger Better Barn door that had been broken during a rodeo, more than $400,000 received in insurance claim money and ideas for how the fairgrounds can generate revenue.

A Bigger Better Barn door was broken during the Montana State University-Northern rodeo when a horse got hung up on it by the saddle horn. Its getting caught up caused the horse to “blow up,” Scott Doney said. The door was shattered and brought off the hinges during the melee.

A local company bandaged and hung the door back for $300 until the university rodeo group figures out how to pay for a new door, which, Doney said, is estimated to cost about $5,800.

Hill County Commissioner Diane McLean said an insurance check of $434,000 for the fairboard has been officially deposited in the bank. The money is the last big chunk of a large claim from the destruction to the fairgrounds caused by a July 4, 2015, hailstorm.

The Fair Board claim was part of a larger claim of $769,000 received by the county. A part of that $769,000 had already been allotted and used to make repairs to the courthouse, the annex building, road and bridge shop and the senior citizens center.

Fairgrounds manager Dave Brewer said he has finished winterizing the fairgrounds and has been busy with other tasks such as cleaning branches brought down by the Oct. 2-3 snowstorm, packing the cold storage building with customer vehicles and campers and coming up with ways to help the fairgrounds generate money.

The board voted to approve a $50 discount for people who want to rent out the community center, a Brewer idea. The price is $200 per day and $50 each subsequent day.

Board member Karla Vaughn said it might be a good idea for the board to look into letting advertisers pay for room on the chain-link fence facing U.S. Highway 2 as a way to bring in some money.

Aside for paperwork that allows it to be rented out to someone other than a county employee, the house on the grounds is officially ready to be rented out, Doney said. The rental price will be $900 and that includes electricity and water.

The Hill County treasurer has been working on implementing a credit card system, board member Chelby Gooch said. Should the system be installed, board chair Paul McCann said, that would make it easier for people to pay for camping, membership, to rent a building.

“The idea is to get a system to pay at the grounds,” McCann said.


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