County toughening policy enforcement at fairgrounds

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Organizations participating in the Curry County Fair in August will have to present proof of liability insurance before they can set up booths.

Curry County Manager Dick Smith told county commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting the policy has been selectively enforced over the years, but the new fairgrounds manager, Justus Anderson, is now enforcing all the fairground’s lease requirements equally.

The fairgrounds manager position was created last year.

Earlier in the meeting, county resident Bill Bollinger asked commissioners why they were enforcing the insurance policy requirement now.

“I think it’s not fair,” Bollinger said. “The people involved don’t need to get blindsided by the (insurance policy).”

Bollinger, who said he has been involved with the county fair for about 50 years, said he was not speaking for his group at the meeting. He said many booths at the fair are run by volunteer groups who can’t afford to buy an insurance policy.

Assistant County Manager Lance Pyle said a liability insurance policy has always been a requirement in the fair’s lease contract.

“We’ve had events that we’ve turned down because they couldn’t provide that insurance coverage,” Smith said. “It’s uniform, it’s across the board. It basically comes down to this: If you want to rent the facilities you need to show us that you have insurance coverage to do that.”

Bollinger said his organization has agreed to pay for an insurance policy to stay in the county fair.
“We’ll be there come hell or high water,” he said.

In other action, commissioners:
• Approved the final plat for the Jorde Ranch subdivision project on the condition a contract guaranteeing the completion of Cando Road is provided.
• Approved a $10 bonding charge for inmates who pay their bonds at the county jail.
• Approved use of BI Cellular electronic monitoring units for inmates on house arrest. The department will use it for inmates who do not have land-line phones in their homes. The county detention department will charge inmates $3 a day for the ankle bracelets.
• Approved an additional $28,000 for unanticipated expenses to the Curry County Fairgrounds budget. County Finance Director Mark Lansford explained that the unanticipated costs included hiring part-time employees.
• Heard the Curry County Comprehensive Plan summary from Paul Huckaby of Consensus Planning. The plan will go to further review.
• Heard Pyle report on the county’s Drafted Personnel Policy. Since there is no deadline for its approval, commissioners will schedule another open meeting to discuss the policy further.