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Status of fair barn project remains unclear



It wasn’t on the agenda, but the status of the fair barn was a key topic at Thursday’s county commission meeting.

During his commissioner’s report Freddie Hayes stated his dissatisfaction with the lack of progress in putting up a new livestock barn and arena at the fairgrounds.

“I’m very upset,” Hayes said. “That barn was for the kids. For most of the kids that fair is their vacation.”

Although the groundbreaking was in April, there has yet to be any work done on putting up the $400,000 structure to be erected by Structural Steel of Canton. The project has hit delay after delay with the latest snag happening last week when the state refused to give a permit because of problems with the soil at the site.

However on Monday a partial permit was given to allow the footer to be poured and the prefabricated structure that must be assembled was delivered on Wednesday.

“We have had problems with the contractor getting this moving,” Hayes said. “It should have been up already. We have been forceful in the last few days.”

A meeting was scheduled Thursday with Commissioner Bill Pratt and the contractor and subcontractor to iron out problems.

“There’s a little bit of distrust (between the parties),” Pratt said. “The project can be completed.”

County Treasurer Stephen Burcham reported $1.472 million has already collected on the second half of property taxes even though those tax bills have yet to be sent out. The figure comes about from payments made in advance or on delinquent accounts.

“We are ahead of schedule,” Burcham said.

Tax bills should be in the mail by the first week of June and due July 20.

In other action the commission:

• Received $22,561 from a FEMA hazard mitigation grant program;

• Approved bid by McCown and Fisher for legal services for the Department of Job and Family Services for $75 an hour.

• Accepted retirement of Kathy Nenni as the program administrator with the Department of Job and Family Services;

• Approved consultant agreement for design work of eight landslides that have received FEMA acceptance.

• Hired a part-time paramedic at $11 an hour and three part-time EMTs at $9.50 an hour.