Letter to the editor: County fairgrounds should be kept for county use

Renei Bohrer

After reading the article “Blue River Horse Center looks for a new home in Summit County,” it disheartens me to hear the county would consider donating land to one nonprofit, when the land should be able to be used by the entire county.

I personally enjoy going to the arena during the summer and riding my horses, and I know several others who use the arena in the summers. With Mr. Longhill being there, no other people could use the county grounds. The arena would no longer be an option for travelers who experience mechanical issues while on I-70 and need to let their livestock out and rest while getting repairs.

Last summer was the worst for fires, and with the lack of snow currently, this year could match last year’s danger. Mr. Longhill is mentioned “welcoming helping manage emergency activity”. Isn’t this why the county has animal control? With Mr Longhill operating there, space becomes an issue when trying to evacuate all the animals in the surrounding areas.

What are the plans for removal of manure from the 15 or so horses that will be housed there for 6 months? The Blue River is directly below the arena, is there concern with long-term runoff from horses being there permanently for 6 months?

I believe that the County Fair Grounds should be kept for public use. With a perimeter fence and overnight security, this is no longer public grounds; but rather Mr. Longhill’s personal property that he will decide who is allowed there and when. Possibly, Fairplay or the Leadville areas may be less expensive for him to obtain land. What precedent is the county setting if people can start using public ground as their own?


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