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After Community Meeting, Carnival Inspections Moving Forward

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A good crowd attended the Carnival meeting on Monday evening.

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A good crowd attended the Carnival meeting on Monday evening.

Just over 40 community members attended Monday evening’s meeting regarding the Greeley County Carnival to learn about the challenges ahead and demonstrate their support for keeping the carnival active for 2018 and beyond. Amusement Association board members led the meeting, explaining the changes in laws affecting the carnival and highlighting costs associated with opening the carnival this year and in the years to come. Amusement Association board members are Monty Moritz, Diane Gentry, Adriane Steinle, Christy Hopkins, and David Huddleston, who was out-of-town and unable to attend Monday night’s meeting. In order to acquire permits ($210) to operate the rides, two types of inspections must be completed on the carnival rides.  Because of the nature of the Spider, the Ferris Wheel, and possibly the Scrambler, these rides require Non-Destructive Testing, which uses x-ray, ultrasound, and other types of technology to inspect internal welds, etc. This inspection will cost approximately $3,300 and is scheduled to begin Monday, June 25. A second inspection, which evaluates the safety of the rides, is tentatively scheduled for the days following the fourth of July.  This inspection (which complies with ATSM guidelines) will cost between $1.340-$1,580. If either inspection returns items that must be repaired, repairs will have to be made and a second round of inspections will be required. Additional paperwork must be maintained for inspection by the Kansas Department of Labor and daily inspections of each of the rides must be completed and documented on an accompanying checklist.  All ride operators must receive training and a certificate of training must be on file for the rides they are operating. To operate all the rides at the carnival, there are 66 shifts (11 rides x 2 shifts per night x 3 nights) that must be filled by trained volunteers.  Some rides, too, require more than one operator to work the ride. State law reads that liability insurance of not less than $750,000 per occurrence with a $1,000,000 annual aggregate is required for a limited-use amusement carnival.  The Greeley County Amusement Association typically carries not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $2,000,000 annual aggregate and the board does not intend to lower the coverage.  Last year’s liability insurance cost $3,021 and this year’s property insurance was $2,614. The board also plans to purchase directors’ and officers’ insurance at a cost around $750. Additional signage must be developed, detailing all safety instructions for each ride. Signs explaining a patron’s duty to report injuries will have to be developed, too.  The rough estimate for signage costs is $500. The following known repairs and purchases will have to be made to comply with ATSM guidelines. Hair guards will have to be purchased for the Ferris Wheel at a cost of $4,512.  Because our current fencing does not comply to standards, snow fence and tie wire ($485) will be purchased to wrap around the existing fencing.  All the rides must have actual gates, and those have been priced at $518. Thirty-six t-posts ($185.40) will be purchased to establish fencing around the roller coaster, which has never been fenced previously. *Note: these are only the currently known costs and do not include any needed repair costs that inspections may reveal.  Startup costs for the kitchen run around $4,000 and prize expenses are generally around $1,500.  The Amusement Association currently has around $20,000 in their fund (much of which had originally been set aside in a ride purchase fund).  Therefore, help will be needed to meet this year’s start-up expenses, if the inspections go well and the carnival can be open for the fair as hoped.  The Amusement Association board shared that in addition to financial help, what would ultimately be needed to operate this year’s fair is dedicated help in the form of volunteer manpower and additional individuals willing to serve on the Amusement Association board. Those attending the meeting shared comments and questions, offering ideas for securing funds, volunteer help, and more and employees of TBK Bank highlighted the Chris Bandi concert, scheduled for Saturday, August 4, from which all ticket proceeds will be dedicated to the Greeley County Amusement Association.  Overwhelmingly, those present indicated that the carnival is a vital part of the Greeley County Fair and that they wanted to do everything possible to see it continue.  Therefore, inspections will continue as scheduled and various tools (including additional articles in the newspaper) will be used to keep the community informed of how matters are progressing. If you have questions, feel free to contact any of the Amusement Association Board Members and be thinking about how you can best assist the carnival this year.  It’s going to take our entire community pulling together to make this happen!
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