The regular meeting of meeting of the Chaffee Board of County Commissioners was largely devoted to a line-by-line review of the contract for the Live Nation/Seven Peaks Festival; with the final amended version receiving unanimous approval. But another, more light-hearted event was also unanimously approved; a proposal by the Chaffee County Fair Board to bring a monster truck racing league event to the Chaffee County Fairgrounds Saturday, June 15. The event will coincide with the FIBARK festival, but aim for an early afternoon time frame and attract a more diverse audience.
“The fair board is behind this recommendation. We think it attracts a new audience, and the fees charged could help us retire more of the debt on the new grandstand costs,” said Chaffee County Fair Board member Abby Hutchinson. “We’d plan it for June 15 – which is also Father’s Day weekend – and set the time for that Saturday afternoon, so we don’t conflict with a lot of the FIBARK events.”
Hutchinson went on to say that the fair board considers this “a great kick-off grandstand opener” to celebrate the opening of the new grandstands at the fairgrounds. It has another financial goal; to retire more of the outstanding debt related to grandstand construction costs.
“It would be a huge draw of people from places like Gunnison, Del Norte and Alamosa,” said Hutchinson. “There’s nothing like this event within 90 to 100 miles of us.”
Hutchinson outlined the fair board’s plan to promote the event, including placing a monster truck in the FIBARK parade, and opening the fairground gates around 11 a.m.; early enough for some pre-event truck activities on the grounds. The fair board plans to include some local monster truck owner-entities in the event, creating a three-hour arena event, beginning around 12:30 p.m..
The new grandstand will be capable of holding 1,614 people. Although the fair board has not firmed up event pricing, Hutchinson said that early planning estimates indicate they would aim for a $20 per person ticket price, with kids six and under free.
Fairgrounds Event Coordinator Miki Hodge said she planned to negotiate for a 20 percent share of the food and beverage sales with event vendors, following a fairly normal 80-20 percent revenue standard. The June event could also help promote the Chaffee County Fair & Rodeo, scheduled for July 25 through Aug. 4.
In other business, commissioners approved two “Notice of Opposition” filings related to water augmentation, with Commissioner Greg Felt, a member of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy Board, recusing himself from both discussions. The first notice of opposition 8CW 3076 regards an application by the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District to augment structures in Fremont, Custer and El Paso Counties using Chaffee County reservoirs as storage facilities and as sources of augmentation.
The second, and potentially more serious, notice of opposition will be filed against the Gold Basin Water Court application. It seeks a permanent augmentation plan that would divert 15 c.f.s (cubic feet per second) from Cache Creek for placer mining.
“The water attorney is more concerned about this,” said County Attorney Jenny Davis. “It’s a diversion from Cache Creek during the summer. The concern is the applicant calculated the depletion (amounts) and the water attorney say he thinks the depletion calculations looked low. So they might not be replacing the whole (water) amount.”
“If we file, we would not be the only entity filing an objection,” she added.