The roof of the Holum Expo Building will be replaced this year.
Brown County commissioners approved a bid of $658,500 for the job during their Tuesday, Jan. 2 meeting at the Brown County Courthouse.
One of two alternate bids — for roughly $4,100 and $5,900, respectively — to repair flashing between the expo and the attached Odde Ice Center — will also be accepted. That’s one of the areas where leaking from the roof has been especially problematic. Rachel Kippley, fair and fairgrounds manager, will visit with the contractor to determine which makes the most sense.
MEGA Construction of Aberdeen submitted the lone bid for the job. It was opened at the Dec. 12 commission meeting. County officials have been considering it since then.
Ultimately, Commission Chairman Duane Sutton said, the cost of the work is only going to get more expensive, which is why he was in favor of accepting the bid.
Kippley agrees, which is why she wants to replace the roof this year. She said she will continue seeking funding options to help cover the cost.
County has $300K set aside for new expo roof
The county has $300,000 set aside for the job. There are other options to help cover the cost, including about $427,000 in the fair’s capital outlay budget, though that money would ideally go to other projects, perhaps a new grandstand in the years to come.
Commissioner Mike Wiese asked that a list of potential funding options for the expo roof be gathered and presented at next week’s commission meeting.
Sutton said that in visiting with people who have ties to the Holum family, there’s no objection to adding another name to the building if a benefactor is found.
More than 40 years ago, the Holum family donated $50,000 toward construction of the expo building, which was built for about $370,000 and featured the first sheet of indoor ice in South Dakota.
The new roof is expected to increase the lifespan of the expo building by about 40 years, Kippley has previously said.
Commissioners unanimously approved the bid.
“It’s a necessary expenditure,” Sutton said.
Other buildings at the fairgrounds also need to be improved, but the county hasn’t had the money, said Commissioner Doug Fjeldheim.
Novstrop bill would help fairs, fairgrounds
State Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, spoke briefly at the meeting. He said he has already introduced Senate Bill 32. It’s a revision of a bill he and Kippley worked together on last year.
If passed, sales tax collected during a county fair would be remitted from the state to the county and be placed in a dedicated fund for fair- and fairgrounds-related projects.
That would result in about $100,000 a year for the Brown County Fairgrounds, Kippley said.
In other action, commissioners:
- Reappointed Sutton as commission chairman and Fjeldheim as commission vice chairman.
- Approved a series of routine annual reorganization matters with one noteworthy change. The Groton Independent was designated as the county’s legal newspaper. In the past, The American News has been one of the legal publications that publishes meeting minutes, legal ads and more. The Aberdeen Insider has not been publishing print editions long enough to be designated as a legal newspaper under state law.
- Met in closed session to discuss legal and personnel matters.