Grandstand deemed unsafe for fairPublished 10:13am Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Events still on for this year with temporary bleachers; repairs could reach $500,000
Mower County has grand problems at the fairgrounds.
Commissioner Jerry Reinartz confirmed Monday that a structural engineer has deemed the grandstand unsafe and is suggesting extensive repairs — which could cost as much as $500,000 — before it is used.
The engineer found dry rot, a fungal decay that causes wood to crack and powder. There were also a number of issues with support beams and columns.
“We informed the fair board that it wasn’t able to be used this year,” Reinartz said following a meeting with fair officials Monday morning.
For this year’s fair, Reinartz said the county board and fair board are looking into temporary bleachers for events like the demo derby and motocross. They are also looking for affordable options for the future.
The county board is responsible for repairs at the fairgrounds, and Reinartz said the $500,000 price tag is cost-prohibitive for a structure that’s used primarily once a year.
“Even with major repair, you still have an old structure there,” he said.
Reinartz said one option is tearing down the structure.
The grandstand was built in 1934 and repaired in 1960, according to Reinartz. The county hired the structural engineer this spring after fair board members voiced concern.
Fair board President Neal Anderson and Vice President Peter Marx did not return calls for comment.