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Late spring water damage result in fairgrounds repairs, loss of gazebo

Idaho County Fair 2018

— Attendees heading to the Idaho County Fairgrounds this week may not notice much of a change on the grounds, but significant repair and restoration took place in the past couple of months to recover from a freak flooding incident.

Idaho County Fair Board chair Leigh Davis said three buildings and the gazebo were impacted when a late May cloudburst, coupled with a plugged culvert, diverted a substantial amount of rainwater into the RV parking lot and onto the grounds.

“When I got there the next morning, there was at least a four to five inch pool in the middle of the [Schmidt] building,” she said. This, along with the open class building, were substantially impacted, with a small amount within the 4-H building.

As it could not be determined where all the water came from, everything it had touched had to be cleaned, she explained. Carpeting throughout the Schmidt building was removed, drywall replaced, and the dressing rooms rebuilt, and a portion of the cabinet base in the office had to be replaced. The floor in the open class building had to be cleaned and repainted.

“Significant effort came through quickly,” Davis said with Kings Services of Lewiston providing cleaning, and with Lindsley’s Furniture of Grangeville providing carpet. Rusty Lorentz, maintenance supervisor, and his wife, Laurie, “have just been terrific,” she continued, in coordinating with contractors and keeping the repair effort moving forward, and completing restoration work not covered by insurance.

“Everything’s a lot fresher, cleaner. It just really looks nice,” she said. The only thing that will catch people’s eyes is the gazebo is gone.

“It was undermined and significantly listed,” Davis said. “We’re disappointed. We’d had it a long time, but it was a safety problem, so it had to come down.” That finally happened two weeks ago, and in its place is a 20-by-24-foot concrete slab with a new roof; benches and railings will be installed later.

Overall, Davis said they’ve had several blessings in discovering damage early, in promptly facilitating repairs, and that ICRMP (Idaho Counties Risk Management Program) insurance – apart from the deductible – was good to work with and has covered the effort. Final cost estimates are pending.

“Compared with everything that happened,” she said, “it wasn’t bad for what we got done. Disasters happen, and we just took care of it.”


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