County fair building nears completion


— The end is in sight for the completion of the Routt County Fairgrounds indoor arena. Grant money and hours of volunteer time and donations from area companies has made it possible.

The final stage will be the compaction of six inches of clay to make a regulation-riding floor. Duckels Trucking and Native Excavating will donate the clay, equipment and labor.

On top of the clay, regulations require four inches of sand that Bruce Daniel from Lafarge sold the fairgrounds for a discounted 50 cents a ton.

Anyone interested in using the arena will get his or her chance to reserve space on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall. The meeting is open to all organizations, clubs and 4-H groups who need space for weekly meetings or special events.

The arena is available for rent at $250 a day for commercial use and $150 a day for nonprofit events.

Fairgrounds director Terry Doherty and the fair board will monitor usage of the arena over the next year to establish maintenance needs.

"The arena is still a work in progress," Doherty said. "We had to start somewhere. For us to establish this level of use, we will need to work through a season of hard knocks."

The arena was funded by a $25,000 grant from the Babson Carpenter Civic Improvement Foundation out of Hayden, $200,000 in fair association savings from Colorado Lottery proceeds, a $300,000 Energy Impact grant, $60,000 from the Gates Family Foundation, $4,000 from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, and $40,000 raised by 4-H members, fund-raising and private donations.

"We were able to build without asking for taxpayer money," Doherty said.

For more information about renting the arena, call Terry Doherty at 276-3068.


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