Save the Barns Committee petitions for fairground hitching rails

Jenny Gessaman

“I thought we had this all settled two meetings ago.”

That was Ed Butcher’s opening line at Tuesday night Fergus County Fair Commission meeting, as he presented a case for hitching rails around the Draft Horse Barn. The Save the Barns Committee restored the 1917 building for roughly $250,000 in 2013.

Butcher stated its clay-brick structure made the barn vulnerable to collisions, and reported damage seemed to indicate several vehicles had already backed into the building. He pitched hitching rails as a form of protection.

“With the community putting this much effort into salvaging that building, it really needs some protection,” Butcher said. “And the idea is we’d being doing duel purpose.”

He explained the hitching rail would also provide fairgrounds users a place to tie up their horses.

Butcher described the potential rails as about 30 inches tall and painted to match the Draft Horse Barn. He said the committee wanted to focus first on the building’s pavilion-facing side. Butcher added the projected would be donated, costing the Fergus County Fairgrounds nothing.

The commission passed a motion approving the project.

“The next project is to put eave troughs up,” Butcher said.


In other business

• Joe and Peggy Sandman wrote a letter to Office and Grounds Administrator Faith Robertson asking permission to hide several geocaches on the Fergus County Fairgrounds.

• Tom Wojtowick requested a new location for the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Memorial, asking for a decision next month.

• The commission approved a total of $11,618.71 in claims.

• Commission member Brett Maxwell reported several news details on the Central Montana Pro Rodeo. He opened by saying the PRCA rodeo experienced a “hiccup” with its application process.

“I got a call we didn’t have a rodeo a couple weeks ago because we sent our application up to the courthouse and they just sent the check,” he said. “They didn’t send the application with it.”

Once Maxwell explained the mix-up to the PRCA, he was able to fax over the application and avoid a late fee.

Maxwell also reported a hiccup with a major sponsor. Originally set to contribute $10,000, the sponsor is now tentatively contributing $6,000.

“We have picked up a few little ones, there are some people that want to move up,” he said. “We probably aren’t going to cover the budget like we did last year, but it’s going to be close.”

• Office and Grounds Administrator Faith Robertson reported 764 tickets for a total of $32,040 sold for the Travis Tritt night show. She added last year at this same time, 629 tickets for a total of $17,220 had sold for the Diamond Rio night show.



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