New members named to Garfield County Fair & Rodeo Board
There seems to be quite a bit of interest in the county fair these days. Interest in serving on the Garfield County Fair & Rodeo Board is so high that the board recently expanded to nine members, the maximum called for in its current bylaws. The fair board and county staff work all year, planning and executing the fair and rodeo, slated for Aug. 4-10.
The current fair board recommended four new members to the county commissioners, who approved John “Brock” Hedburg, Kelly Porter, Rick Shaffer and Doug Teter. Porter, Shaffer and Teter completed new member orientation and served in their first official fair board meeting April 8. Hedburg was expected to soon follow. The four members join board President Levy Burris, Vice-President Cody Smith, Secretary Courtney Jenkins, long-time member Eileen Sheets and Donna Marye, who joined in January, to complete the group.
“We have not had so many, nine members, in recent years,” stated County Manager Andrew Gorgey. “They are qualified and have been approved through an extensive application and interview process. This is not an ordinary volunteer position, as the dedication and time commitment requires many hours of their time.”
Board members are responsible for fiscal and policy decisions pertaining to the fair and its programs and make a multi-year commitment to the board. Members serve three-year terms that start and end on Oct. 15. One-third of the board seats are open each year.
New fair board members go through an orientation and attend one full fair board meeting before they are eligible to vote. Conducted by the county’s fair and events coordinator, Doreen Herriott, and Gorgey, the orientation covers the mission and bylaws, the role of fair board members, the fair’s traditions, the commissioners, county staff, ethics and best practices.
Herriott, a former fair board member herself, is now a county employee in her first year managing fair operations and other county events. The fair board, county administration, CSU Extension and the county 4-H program and scores of volunteer and community leaders manage the fair and its year-round programs.
Hedburg, owner of Hy-Way Feed & Ranch Supply in Silt, will serve through Oct. 15, as will Marye. Porter, a former 4-H participant, and Teter, a former 4-H and FFA member as well as a 4-H parent for the past five years, will each serve through Oct. 15, 2015. Shaffer, a business owner from New Castle and previous participant in the Adams County Fair, will serve through Oct. 15, 2016. The terms are staggered to provide continuity of operations and preserve institutional memory.
“Two years ago we struggled to get even two members to be on the board,” said Commissioner Mike Samson. “I thank the past and current board members for doing a tremendous amount of work to raise the standards of the fair. I want to thank each of the new board members for their coming service, my hat’s off to them. It is a great tradition and we will continue to build upon it.”
2014 fairground improvements in design phase
The commissioners have also approved plans, now in the design phase, for 2014 improvements of the fairgrounds. The improvements are the second phase of a county project, with a total budget of $2.8 million. Last year’s first phase cost approximately $900,000 for paving, landscaping, sidewalk construction, irrigation, storm drainage infrastructure, fencing and lighting improvements.
This year’s improvements include extending the existing indoor arena, adding more stalls, sound system and kitchen enhancements and technology upgrades. The commissioners and county staff held several community input sessions last fall and hired a consultant to determine the best direction to take to improve the fairgrounds for all users.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.