By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Individuals and companies have made donations to a project to renovate the horse barn at the Seward County Fairgrounds, and now, the project will have some extra funding thanks to a unanimous vote Tuesday by the county commission.
With the remodel still yet to be finished, some of the stalls in the horse barn are already being used, and a $20 per day fee has been charged for equine owners to use the facility.
Commissioner C.J. Wettstein said he would like to use the money collected from that rent to further the project.
“So far, the project’s been volunteer,” he said. “We’ve had JAG donate the concrete. We had Abbott Construction donate the labor. We had Weatherly Electric donate the electricity on it. People donated money to put the stalls in.”
Wettstein said he has other plans in mind for the barn in addition to the stalls.
“One of the things I’d like to do later on is from the northeast corner of the barn, go straight north to the rock wall,” he said. “Put a six foot wood fence there, and plant grass and trees in there so the 4-H kids could have their things and their sleepovers out there.”
Wettstein explained how using the rental fees for the project would work.
“All I’m asking for is would you be willing to allow us to put the proceeds that we get off the rental of the stalls into just into an account of its own,” he said. “As more people come in, we could take that money and use it to fix up the horse barn.”
County administrator April Warden said $800 had been collected so far this year from rental fees.
Wettstein said the stalls are 10 feet by 10 feet, with some lumber, which was donated locally by Mead Lumber. He said that was the size of the stalls before remodeling had started on the barn.
“We’ve got everything now to put in 10 stalls,” he said. “We’ve got seven in there right now. On the stalls, we’ll put a sign of who donated it, a picture of them. 4-H kids love it. The people who are traveling through who have horses and want to get them out of their trailers for a night, they’re liking it. I think it’s a nice project. I’d just like to be able to use that income to do things out there.”
Warden recommended that the commission not create a new fund in the county’s budget, but rather a line item in the budget for the Activity Center to keep track of the money coming in from stall rental and the money being used to further the horse barn remodel.
Commissioner Doug LaFreniere made the motion to do just that, and after that motion was seconded by commissioner Randy Malin, the board then voted unanimously to approve using the rental fees for the project.