Fair board seeks help

FAIRMONT – The Martin County Fair board approached county commissioners Tuesday for help with the drainage at the Martin County Arena.

While commissioners did not approve any funding, they were open to helping, once more questions were answered.

Calvin Saxton of the fair board described the problem involving downspout drain-age of roof runoff: the water does not drain away from the building but ends up pooling around the foundation, and sometimes even seeps under the doors.

The plan is to lay 12-inch tile along the south side of the arena for better drainage. The fair board has received permission from the city to drain into the storm sewer.

While the fair board, the city and Fairmont Hockey Association are contributing to new gutter and downspouts, the fair board has asked the county to help with the tiling cost, which includes materials, as well as removal and replacement of blacktop.

No costs were submitted for the labor involved, but it is expected to be substantial, because of working around water mains, power lines, gas lines and phone services.

The cost given to commissioners Tuesday was more than $26,000, which made commissioners balk.

“Have you talked to the city, since they own half the building?” asked commission chairman Elliot Belgard.

Saxton told the board he had just gotten the numbers over the weekend, and had yet to ask the city for help.

Martin County Engineer Kevin Peyman suggested that depending on scheduling, the county’s highway department could help with the work and supplies.

“We could donate the equipment and time in the removal of the blacktop, and possibly replacing, depending on scheduling,” he said. “I know it would be a small window we’d be working with to make that work.”

Saxton estimated that if everything goes as planned, work will begin at the end of June, or in July.

“You definitely would want to be done by fair time,” said Commissioner Dan Schmidtke.

The board authorized the highway department to provide labor and equipment for the blacktop removal, and to allow Peyman to coordinate with the fair board on its replacement.

In other business, the commissioners approved a bid from Fairmont Glass and Sign for $6,950 for a new bulletproof window for the law enforcement center, which is being remodeled. While this was not part of the original bid, the replacement is needed after a newly installed counter area did not fit properly.

“There’s a lot we keep adding to this project,” Schmidtke said with some frustration. “But when you think of the employees sitting behind that glass, it’s worth millions.”

There was some talk of looking for a cheaper option, but time and safety won out.

“It’s already going to take two and a half weeks to order this,” said Martin County Sheriff’s Office Captain Corey Klanderud. “We have employees that are moving into that area now. Those of us in that office have been on top of each other for several months now, so it’s time, we’re ready to move forward.”