Larry Weber and Marc Weber, pictured at left and right, take a moment at the Phillips County Fair to discuss the Pavilion and Education Center project with fundraising committee member Gale Wiebers at the committee’s raise the barn booth. — Johnson Publications

$30,000 grant, new plan for old horse barn keep pavilion moving forward

   Phillips County has been awarded a $30,000 capital grant from the Boettcher Foundation in support of its Fairgrounds Pavilion and Education Center project.
    According to County Administrator/Planner Randy Schafer, the $1.6 million project now has $1,384,856 pledged.
    The 250-foot-by-350-foot pavilion will replace four existing livestock exhibit buildings and provide the opportunity for year-round events at the fairgrounds.
    Founded in 1937, the Boettcher Foundation invests in Colorado’s most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come.
    Commissioner Joe Kinnie said the County was elated to receive the award that brings them one step closer to the fundraising goal. “We want to publicly thank the Boettcher Foundation for their belief in the project and awarding the grant.”
Demolition to begin, horse barn to be sold
    With the completion of a successful 2017 Phillips County Fair, the commissioners have seen great support for the project so far and are confident donations will continue to close the gap between what is on hand and the approximately $200,000 still needed.  Giving may be facilitated in many ways, including through pledges up to five years in duration, through a wall of brands, with donations of grain or with the purchase of livestock pens.
    In spite of the financing shortfall, commissioners have made a decision to start work on the project to assure that the planned Pavilion and Education Center can be ready for the 2018 fair.
    The first step toward the new pavilion is to prepare the site, which includes the hog/sheep building, the sale arena, the shaded area used for fitting cattle, the horse barn, the scale house and the west beef barn. The commissioners originally hoped to move the hog/sheep building to another place on the fairgrounds to repurpose it for maintenance and storage; however, the costs to refit the building are higher than anticipated.  
    They have also fielded several inquiries about disposal of the other buildings, with people having an interest in barn wood, horse barn doors, the horse barn as a whole or sections of the horse barn. While the original plan was to tear the wooden structures down, the commissioners have decided to give the public the opportunity to bid on buildings, whether in whole or in part.
    The scale house is still scheduled for demolition.
    Bids for the complete hog/sheep building, horse barn and west beef barn, as well as for sections or items from the horse and beef barns must be submitted by Thursday, Aug. 24, for consideration. Successful bidders for any portion of a building will have a 30-day window for structure removal.
    For questions regarding the bid process or how to give to the project, contact the administration office at 970-854-3778. The Board of Commissioners reserves the right to reject or refuse any or all bids submitted.

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