By Tim Leeds 

Fair board approves contracting new fairgrounds manager


The Great Northern Fair Board unanimously approved contracting with Frank English as the new Great Northern Fairgrounds manager during a special meeting of the board Thursday.

Board Chair Tyler Smith said English and one other person, who he did not name, had applied.

The other applicant did not apply until Tuesday and had not responded to his attempted contacts by Thursday’s meeting, Smith said.

He said after the meeting the contract will pay $2,500 a month with English being responsible for his own taxes, insurance, workers compensation and so on.

He told the other board members English is a contractor and is active in putting on music events in the area, so has experience.

“He will be thrown right into the fire,” Smith said.

He said he does not think English has any experience managing a faiground, but he does have experience that will help.

“He is kind of a handy-man guy, so he is experienced in running his own business,” he said. “ … I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt.”

The board also awarded a contract to remodel the former location of the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum into office space for the fair board, to replace the current location which was damaged with a water break.

Smith said the remodel building would include office space and an interior bathroom with handicap-accessibility.

He said he solicited four contractors, two of whom responded.

He said Dan Korb verbally gave a price of about $50,0000.

Clausen and Sons submitted a bid of $25,660, but that bid did not include the plumbing and electrical work. He said he expects that work to total about $8,000, still significantly lower.

The board unanimously approved awarding the contract to Clausen and Sons.

The board also approved awarding work on 100 potholes in 8,800 square feet of the pavement of the fairground parking lot.

Smith said Havre Sand and Gravel is the only company in the area that does that work. Their bid was at about $34,000.

“It is a lot of money, but it is what the public expects,” he said, adding that many people at last year’s fair commented on the holes in the asphalt.

The money for both the paving and the new office would come from the insurance payments the fair board received for the 2015 hailstorm, he said.


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