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Davison Co. 4-H looks to add new barn at fairgrounds

The Davison County 4-H club is looking to expand. During Tuesday's Davison County Commission meeting, 4-H Youth Program Adviser for Davison and Hanson counties, Amber Erickson, initiated a discussion to expand the 4-H facilities at the Davison Co...

The Davison County 4-H club is looking to expand.

During Tuesday's Davison County Commission meeting, 4-H Youth Program Adviser for Davison and Hanson counties, Amber Erickson, initiated a discussion to expand the 4-H facilities at the Davison County Fairgrounds in Mitchell.

No formal decisions were made to allow the construction of either a pole or hoop barn at the Davison County Fairgrounds, but the five-person commission seemed open to the possibility.

Erickson said the youth development program is looking for additional space to serve as a livestock show ring. The need for an additional structure is due, in part, to rising enrollment in the program, which has risen to 226 so far in 2016 from 185 last year.

The 4-H program hopes to add a structure approximately 50 feet by 80 feet next to the existing 4-H buildings on the fairgrounds property. Costs of the project range from a $22,678.33 barn from Ethan Co-op Lumber Association to a $30,013 structure from Johnson and Sons Construction. ProBuild bid $24,204, not including optional costs, to construct the new show ring.

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Erickson said the proposed structure, which would likely be funded entirely through a series of donations, could be used for several purposes.

"What this will allow, also, is for us to maximize the space and have housing for all of the animals," Erickson said. "Also, it will give us the opportunity to expand and do educational booths and interactive activities for not only our 4-H youth club, but our community members as well."

Erickson said the club currently has one sponsor who has agreed to donate $3,000 for the project and they hope to conduct a fundraiser to raise an additional $3,000. She said the group will also look for corporate sponsors to fund the project.

The commission did not consider any action to allow the new structure on Tuesday, but Commission Chairwoman Brenda Bode suggested Erickson return to the board after completing a marketing plan and a fundraising timeline. But Bode said it is not necessary the 4-H club be obligated to have the project fully funded before returning to the commission in search of approval.

"I don't think that it's fair to ask you to have all of the money raised, because it's a pie in the sky," Bode said about the current state of the project.
Commissioner Denny Kiner also weighed in on the project and suggested Erickson and the 4-H club determine whether to select the hoop or pole barn.

"I think it's a fantastic plan, but I'm with Brenda, I think you need to look at a facility that you can use most often as possible," Kiner said.

The commission also received an update on its jail shower renovation.

Corrections Administrator Don Radel presented the commission with photographs of the $206,313 renovation to replace the four shower pods at the Davison County Jail due to moisture damage and structural issues.

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Just two weeks into the project, Radel said the project remains on target to meet its estimated completion date in June. But Bode warned those in attendance that there may not be much fanfare when the costly project commences.

"Put it this way, there probably won't be a ribbon cutting," Bode said jokingly.

Other business

• Approved a resolution for bridge inspection and selected Civil Design Inc., of Brookings, to conduct the inspections.

• Set bid opening for chemicals for the Weed Department for March 22.

• Heard the quarterly civil report from Civil Deputy Kathye Fouberg.

• Held a closed-door executive session with the five commissioners, Auditor Susan Kiepke, Radel and Sheriff Steve Brink and retroactively suspended an employee with pay from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, and suspended the same employee without pay from Feb. 26 to March 1.

Related Topics: 4-H
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