Plans, location of indoor arena discussed

by jennifer butler

On Monday, March 5 a few members of the Big Horn County Fair Board met together in a special work session to discuss the prospect of the indoor arena. Board Chairman Felix Carrizales, board member Tim Flitner and Dallen Smith were in attendance.

Smith had drawn rough blue prints of where the building would stand and how it would be utilized when completed. Smith’s plans were to connect the new arena with the existing building, in order to utilize existing features, such as the kitchen, to help save funds.

The original plans were to first build the shell of the building then continue the process. Flitner  suggested the project be done in phases. First update the kitchen and bathrooms then continue to add pieces to the building until completed. He said, this plan enables us to step away from the project if the board had invested too much in the final project. He added that the board would update what is needed most so the fairgrounds are not left with outdated bathrooms.

During the meeting those in attendance walked around the grounds and mapped out a possible locations for the new building. Carrizales said by seeing where the building would stand and how it could be used it helps him see the vision. He added that he is still concerned about the overall cost and the approval of the community.

He said the fair board needs to build the trust in the community before undergoing such a large project.

Flitner said the building could be used year round and by several of the Big Horn Basin communities.

Smith provided the board with project profits after each of the three phases. He projected the fair would have a net profit in year three of around $30,000.

Carrizales said although he feels better about the project, and he could see the potential it could offer the county, he is still not convinced it is the best option for the board now.

The board is currently reviewing bids for complete construction of the arena.

A grant to the Daniels Fund was submitted by County Grants Writer Maria Eastman March 1.