Sep 022011

— By Linda Kor

With less than two weeks until the gates open on the Navajo County Fair, representatives from the county and the City of Holbrook are meeting to discuss potential issues that need to be addressed.

The weekly meetings are conducted by District Supervisor J.R. DeSpain, and include fair board members, local law enforcement, public works employees and other interested parties.

A recent concern was the sand that was removed from the rodeo arena and replaced with what was expected to be clean sand. It took three days to remove the 524 tons of sand from the arena and replace it with new sand at a cost of approximately $6,500. But once the sand was unloaded in the arena, rocks of every size were discovered throughout the sand, something that could easily cause a horse to stumble or throw a rider.

As a result, the sand has once again been removed from the arena by county employees and returned to Cholla Ready Mix, where it was screened, then returned to the arena. There has been no statement made as to why the rocks were in the sand and no additional cost has been noted.

A concern presented by City Manager Ray Alley was that none of his employees were willing to drive the loader during the demolition derby due to concerns with children being allowed in the area of the vehicles, and jumping on and around the loader as vehicles were being removed.

As the concern was addressed it was determined that strict enforcement of the number of individuals allowed as pit crew and the exclusion of juveniles in the area of the vehicles will be enforced.

“This is a safety issue and we don’t want anyone, especially small children, harmed during this event,” stated DeSpain.

Aside from these concerns, preparation for the upcoming fair is reported to be running smoothly.